RATHKE, Steven P., age 74
Died: Sunday, January 13th, 2019
Celebration of Life: 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2019 at the funeral home
Visitation: 2:00 p.m. until time of service
A private interment will be held at a later date
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations made in Steve's name to either:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital https://www.stjude.org/
L.E. Phillips Senior Center http://www.lephillipsseniorcenter.com/
Steven "Steve" Rathke, age 74, of Eau Claire died on Sunday, January 13, 2019 after a short illness.
Steve was born in Eau Claire on February 4, 1944 to the late Robert and Geraldine (Johnson) Rathke. He was a true friend to many and a loving husband, father and grandfather. Steve graduated from Memorial High School in 1962 and then went on to work at the Paper Mill for a number of years. In 1967, he began his career at Uniroyal where he worked until his retirement in 1999 after 25 years of service at the Eau Claire plant and 7 years with the plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Steve then worked with Country Jam from 2000-2013.
Adventure, good times and close relationships seemed to follow Steve wherever he went. As a youth, he was a member of the 1959 Babe Ruth World Series in California where he was an outfielder for the Eau Claire Badgers Allstars team. This adventure was always dear to him and he shared his passion for baseball by coaching youth baseball in the years to come. Steve continued to be an avid sports fan by watching baseball, football, Nascar and golf. He also loved to play golf for many years. As an outdoorsman, Steve enjoyed fishing, bird and deer hunting where many stories of fun, laughter and pranks were always present - especially with the gang from the "S" troop. These adventures were also shared with his best friend and brother, Jerry.
Steve loved to travel with the love of his life, Mary Jo. They wintered in Florida, Alabama, Lake Havasau, and Hawaii. They also enjoyed yearly trips to Las Vegas and 2 Alaskan cruises. Steve also enjoyed cooking and gardening. Many were blessed by the delicious soups that he shared and the beautiful flowers in his garden.
Steve is survived by his loving wife, Mary Jo; son, Robert (Jody); daughter, Sheila (Randy); step-daughter, Michele (Sheldon); step-son, Don (Kem); grandchildren, Candy, Travis, Brandon, Shannon, Ashley, Brady, Jacob, Jessie and Anna; great grandchildren; Braiden, Payton, Ciara, Lilah, Korbin, Sophia, and Jase; brother, Jerry (Sharon); sister, Sally; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Mark; brother, Robert; and brother-in-law, Bubby Wold.