Stephen Lee Rath was born March 25, 1958 in Dubuque, IA. He was born to Walter Rath and Betty Blehm Rath. In the early sixties, the family moved to Burlington Colorado where Steve’s father took a pastoral call at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Burlington, CO. Burlington became his home town and St. Paul’s his home church. Church is where Steve met Sonya in 1stgrade. Steve celebrated his affirmation of baptism in 1971.
Steve finally convinced Sonya to go on their first date in 1975. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1976 where he participated in football, wrestling, swim team, track team, band, jazz band and choir. Steve graduated in 1979 from the best college in Colorado: Colorado State University! Go Rams!!
In 1980, Sonya and Steve married on August 3. He received his Master’s degree from Univ. of Northern Colorado in 1981.
Steve started his athletic training experience while in undergrad school. He travelled to Australia as athletic trainer with the CSU men’s basketball team his senior year. He continued with his athletic training at UNC and worked for the Denver Broncos as a game day trainer while in college and throughout his career.
Steve’s first job was at Aurora Central High School as a P.E. teacher and athletic trainer. Steve and Sonya welcomed their daughter, Michal Erin (b.1982) and son Andrew Christian (b.1985) while in Aurora. Steve’s next job with Denver Broncos Sports Medicine brought the family to the Westminster/Broomfield area. There Steve worked to rehabilitate orthopedic injuries and continued as a high school trainer. Their son, Jordan Lee, was born in 1988.
As that game day trainer, Steve had the awesome experience of travelling with the Broncos for many memorable games as well as three Super Bowls. Oh, the souvenirs!! As a trainer then and up to his last day he was a Bronco fan. Steve received the Nugget’s High School Trainer of the Year in 2007.
He loved being an athletic trainer, especially working with all of his trainer colleagues and friends along the way.
Steve was a drummer with the Grapes of Rath (famous in Burlington and surrounding area saloons) throughout high school. He played for Spirit of Hope contemporary worship band and sang in choir for many years here at Lutheran Church of Hope. Music and football were his lifetime passions.
In 2009, Steve started a spiral of diabetic ulcers, infections, replacement surgeries, more infections and finally amputation. By sheer strength of will, he survived it all. In February 2020, health professionals told him that he would be entering hospice care very soon. He did not participate in that particular point of view.
Steve claimed the promise of his baptism on June 19, 2020.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Nathan. He is survived by his wife Sonya, children Michal and husband Stephen Music, Andrew and Jordan; brother Dana Rath and wife Max, sister Melanie, sister Kris Tina and sister-in-law, Melody. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in honor of Steve Rath to UNC Foundation: 1620 Reservoir Rd. Greeley, CO 80631
An outside Memorial Service will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26th at Lutheran Church of Hope in Broomfield. Please see notes below for the "House of Worship" CDC Social Distancing Guidelines if you are able to attend.
A livestream viewing of the Liturgy and Committal can be viewed live at this link: http://www.lchope.org/watch
Circles are being painted on the ground at the church to ensure social distancing. Please do not arrive any earlier than 6:15 p.m. so our staff can be prepared. You can find a circle to stand in for the duration of the service. Unfortunately, there can be no gathering in the parking lot before or after the service and families are encouraged to depart immediately following the liturgy.
In Memoriam cares deeply about the safety of the families we serve. Please arrive wearing a mask, adhere to social distance guidelines, and please stay home if you have any fever, cold, or flu-like symptoms.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Stephen L. Rath, please visit our floral store.