WARREN E. STREMMING / 1921-2006
Newspaper Agency typesetter was devoted to getting news out
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Warren E. Stremming, a longtime Freemason and World War II veteran who later spent 21 years running the typesetting room for the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, died Feb. 17 at his Kailua home. He was 84.
Before coming to Hawaii in the 1960s, Stremming was a journeyman printer on the mainland, eventually working in the composing rooms of more than 50 newspapers including the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle in an era when in-demand printers and typesetters moved around frequently.
Stremming, who was born in Burlington, Iowa, later became superintendent of composing at the Des Moines Register before relocating to the islands.
While at the Register, he received a presidential citation for learning sign language so he could hire the hearing-impaired, family members said. Stremming told them it was actually easier to communicate with his staff via sign language in noisy pressrooms.
Stremming was a Freemason for a half-century, belonging to local and mainland chapters of that fraternal organization, and a member of the Aloha Shriners.
He joined the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, the now-defunct joint venture that handled printing, advertising and circulation for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser, in 1965. Stremming later helped HNA make the transition from traditional lead typesetting to electronic methods and was known for his easy-to-work-with demeanor.
"He was real quiet. He was a street kid raised in the Depression who didn't say much but was still very personable," said stepson Bud Bowles, of Honolulu.
During the war, Stremming served as an Army paratrooper, earning the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Europe, family members said.
He is also survived by wife Jean; daughters Holly of Kailua and Roxann Ringnald of Fort Worth, Texas; son Tom of San Jose, Calif.; stepdaughter Sally Bowles Rogers of San Diego; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial services is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite Temple, 1611 Kewalo St. in Honolulu. Donations may be made to the Aloha Temple Patient Transportation fund in lieu of flowers.