Steve Stubenrauch, OMD passed away last week. He 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