In Loving Memory

On behalf of the Further Shore board and practitioners, I would like to offer sincere sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Steve Stubenrauch, OMD who passed away on June 10, 2011. His memorial service was held yesterday at Unity of Flagstaff and was attended by so many of his patients, friends, family and colleagues. I want to take time to share with you, who may have known Steve, but not heard the news and for those who knew, but could not attend the service.

Dr. Steve was widely known in our community for his “living out loud” ways, his brilliant mind and wacky sense of humor. He had a stroke 18 months ago and came back to life with rehab, herbs, acupuncture and the loving support of many healers. He liked to say he “got his second chance” to live a little and was grateful to be able to walk, talk, bike, drive, and treat patients again after the stroke. His children, Amy and Tara were flower girls at our wedding in August of 1993. They are now beautiful young ladies. Amy, is 28 and the mother of a 3 year old Scarlett; she is also carrying a baby boy due on July 15th. Both girls were the apples of Steve’s eye. Wayne Methios (one of Steve’s “two best friends named Wayne”) read letters written by Amy and Tara to their dad at the service yesterday. It was clear by their words that they held him in the highest regard as well. Both expressed a wish that he would have remained with us longer than his 54 years. His 55th birthday would be today, Summer Solstice.

Steve loved all kinds of music and especially the Moody Blues. He was known for doing karaoke whenever the opportunity arose and I personally witnessed his bursting into spontaneous songs like “Brown Eyed Girl” (for his daughter, Tara) or “Tuesday Afternoon” (if it happened to be a Friday). He was a world class chess player and often would do benefit chess matches to raise money for nonprofits locally, successfully playing (and winning) as many as 100 boards at a time. He was always laughing, joking and talking a mile a minute. He loved Star Trek and all things science fiction. Just a few weeks ago Steve got to go to the Sci-Fi convention in Phoenix where he heard one of his heroes, Leonard Nimoy, speak.

First and foremost Dr. Steve was a healer. Many of his colleagues were present at the memorial and we were reminded of his tireless effort to bring education, healing and joy to the community through Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and herbal therapies. When Rev. Konrad Kaserer asked how many present had been on the receiving end of Steve’s needles almost everyone in the room of well over 100 raised their hands. He was one of the many healers who attended to Wayne Marinelli during his cancer journey, gently providing relief from chemo symptoms and then some very spiritual sessions during Wayne’s hospice time. I think he may have called on Wayne recently to do his annual rim to rim Grand Canyon hike. Yes, Steve was determined to do the hike despite his stroke history and when his hiking partner was unable to make it, he made the rim to rim walk on his own.

There is a delicate line between life and death. Steve knew it well and he was not afraid to cross that line. Having survived out of body experiences and the stroke, he talked openly about passing into the next frontier. Music chosen by his family and played yesterday at the service included “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, “Graceland” by Paul Simon, “Wildest Dreams” by the Moody Blues, “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton and a beautiful Italian version of “Time to Say Goodbye.” Last week as he was helping his room mate and friend, Rev. Konrad to carry a very light, but awkward futon frame upstairs in their apartment. He collapsed and left his body in the arms of Konrad (a former Catholic Priest and current Unity Minister). The metaphor of carrying the ‘light, but awkward frame upstairs” and “dying in the arms of the angels” was not lost in the deluge of tears and laughter shared during the service. Steve was a one of a kind man with a heart of gold. He will be missed and remembered always.

Happy Birthday, Steve!
With Love and Spaghetti, Aleia and all at Further Shore

3 Responses to In Loving Memory

  1. Sun June 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. Steve was a wonderful person and I considered him a very dear friend. I spoke with him the day he passed and I am forever grateful to have had that conversation with him. I was not at the service and therefore haven’t been able to connect with other members of Steve’s “family”. I really enjoyed your writing and appreciate you sharing it with the world.

  2. Jabari August 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for writing this, and I’m sorry to hear this sad news.

    I took chess lessons from Steve a long time ago, and went on several Grand Canyon hikes with him as well (some dichotomy there, eh?) He was always so full of energy and wit it was amazing.

  3. Unknown September 21, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    I just learned with great shock that Steve Stubenrauch had died. He was best man at my wedding in 1985. We were great friends in high school and beyond. I lost touch with him in the late ’90’s. He was an honorable guy and kind of a character. He had an unusual wit. We played chess together, but he was always better than me.

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