Christopher (Chris) Mark Stroup – Alexandria Echo Press


Christopher (Chris) Mark Stroup, beloved husband, father, son, brother, coach and friend died suddenly on Tuesday February 22 at the age of 52.

Chris Stroup was born on February 22, 1970, to Colletta Jean (Albers) and Robert (Bob) Lee Stroup II in Fargo, North Dakota, the youngest of four children. He grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and graduated from North High School in 1988. Growing up in North Fargo, Chris was immersed in sports from an early age. A formidable athlete, he was recruited by North Dakota State University (NDSU) where he played cornerback from 1988 to 1992 for the Thundering Herd. He was a member of the Bison National Football Championship teams in 1988 and 1990.

Chris graduated from NDSU in 1993, laying the foundation for a long career as an educator teaching history and government. Chris enjoyed teaching students who were eager to learn. It was not uncommon for him to receive notes from former students thanking him for the difference he had made in their lives through his approach to teaching and the high expectations he placed on them. Chris was a lifelong learner himself, always reading history and biographies as a hobby.

In high school, Chris met the love of his life, Jill Finch. Chris and Jill were married on May 28, 1993, enjoying a marriage full of love and mutual respect for nearly 30 years. On July 15, 1998, they welcomed a daughter, Abby, into their family, and on February 18, 2001, they completed their family with a second daughter, Jordyn. Together, Chris and Jill have kept their strong Catholic faith at the center of their marriage and in parenting their beautiful daughters, the pride and joy of their lives.

After their marriage, Chris and Jill made Grand Forks, North Dakota their home, where Chris began his professional career as a teacher at the Nathan Twining School on the Air Force base. They then moved to Alexandria, Minnesota, where Chris spent 26 years building a life filled with teaching, training, friendships, but most importantly cheering on his daughters from the stands as they themselves competed in several sports. In 2017, Chris and Jill moved back to Fargo, North Dakota to be closer to their family where Chris taught and coached at Shanley High School before moving on to a new career with Vaaler Insurance as a health counselor. benefits, a career change that allowed him to use his strengths as an educator in new ways.

Chris had a big heart and a personality that could fill a room with humor and compassion. He recognized his ability to teach and mentor as a God-given gift of leadership and he used it in all facets of his life.

Chris enjoyed spending time improving his golf game with his good friends, especially his future son-in-law, Nate. He and Jill enjoyed spending time at the lake, walking in the woods with their dog, Millie, occasionally going to Clearwater Beach to relax, sitting around a bonfire or taking a nap while watching football on television. More than anything, he loved beyond measure spending quality time with Jill, her daughters, Millie the dog and all the family and friends God had placed in his life. He enjoyed attending bison football games and watching North Carolina Tar Heels basketball.

Chris had immense faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and was active in the Catholic Church throughout his life. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Former Buffalo Players Bible Study and was working on his goal of reading the Bible cover to cover.

Chris is survived by his wife, Jill (Finch) Stroup; his beloved daughters Abby Stroup (Nate Johnson) and Jordyn Stroup; brother Robert (Bob) Lee Stroup III (Suzanne) (Fargo, ND), sister Carmen Lipparelli (Mark) (Las Vegas, NV) and brother Bradley Stroup (Fargo, ND); father-in-law Roger and mother-in-law Pat Finch (Moorhead, MN), brother-in-law Michael Finch (Meghan) (Fargo, ND), brother-in-law Dustin Finch (Moorhead, MN) and many uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert L. and Colletta Stroup and his nephew, Ryan Lipparelli.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 27, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Boulger Funeral Home. A Memorial Mass is scheduled for Monday, February 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2711 7th St East, West Fargo, North Dakota.

In lieu of flowers, please help us continue Chris’s legacy by considering any of the following through a monetary donation: Holy Cross Catholic Church Expansion Campaign; a scholarship the family intends to establish in their name; Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Fargo. The family would also like to encourage loved ones to plant a tree in his memory. Chris has found a lot of joy and peace taking long walks in the woods and he would be touched to know that future generations could enjoy it.

Arrangements in the care of Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. Guestbook online at


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