Stephen Rau

Stephen Robert Rau

August 8th, 2020
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Gentle and patient, respected and loved, Stephen R. Rau, aka “Steve”, lived his life showing God’s love through him. Service to the Lord, his family and country permeated throughout his life. His gentle spirit and compassionate nature were evident with his wife, daughter, and anyone he met.

Steve was born on January 24, 1968 in Everett, Washington to Robert R. Rau USAF MSgt. ret. and Mary Ann Rau. He attended Franklin Regional High School where his passion for cross country and track bloomed. Growing up in Pennsylvania he developed a love for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates and Penguins. Steve enjoyed volunteering with Murrysville Medic One and serving as an alter boy, lector and in choir as a member of St. John Baptist Church in Delmont, Pennsylvania. In Troop 213, at the age of 14, he was the youngest at the time to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Desiring to follow his father’s footsteps into the Air Force, he applied and was accepted into the US Air Force Academy. Graduating in 1990, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, a minor in German, and his commission.

Steve began his career at Reese Air Force Base in the far reaches of Lubbock, Texas. Upon completing undergraduate pilot training, he was honored with a banked assignment. Due to the lack of available flying assignments, he served as a Security Police Flight Leader in Minot, North Dakota. There, he met the love of his life, Tabitha. After they were married, he whisked her from her hometown of Dallas, Texas, to the beautiful North Dakota snowscape (yes…she did forgive him).

After three years of defending the Great White North, he received a long-awaited KC-10 assignment to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, followed by a KC-10 unit move to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. There, he spent his time deploying in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH, ALLIED FORCE, and countless other contingencies.

Following five years of CNN reporters chasing Steve all around the world, Steve and Tab were blessed with an assignment to the US Air Force Academy. There, Steve helped supervise the Cadet Soaring program and instituted a fleet-wide replacement of the gliders and motor gliders. Additionally, Steve and Tab sponsored up to seventeen cadets by opening their home (and refrigerator). The highlight of their time at the Academy was leading an Officer Christian Fellowship small group bible study.

Following their assignment in Colorado, the Raus were blessed with the opportunity to serve at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Steve did his “staff tour,” working at Headquarters USAFE (US Air Forces Europe), Tab learned German, and the family took advantage of every travel opportunity. That’s also where they adopted Maddison, their long-awaited daughter.

When the Germany tour ended, the Air Force sent the Raus to Vance Air Force Base to teach the next generation of pilots in the T-6. There he was able to fly along side of his best friend, Major Daniel Dorrance. The tour in Enid, Oklahoma brought great stability and friendships in the local community. With 22 years under his belt, in the United States Air Force, Major Steve Rau finally retired. He continued his service to the nation as a government civilian. With the great memories of Europe fresh on his mind, he was hired back to Ramstein, Headquarters USAFE for part two of their European tour. Their adventure was able to last 5 years before moving to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, where he ultimately retired to enjoy “The Good Life!”

Steve is survived by his wife, Tabitha Hobbs Rau and daughter, Maddison Elise Rau of Carter Lake, Iowa. His mother, Mary Ann Rau of Delmont, Pennsylvania. His sister, Debra Ann Sweet of Dover, Delaware and his nephews Derek and Christopher Sweet, Jacob, John, Jason, Jeremy, and Joshua Ashford and his niece Sarah Fuhrmann of Bedford, Texas. Along with many loving great nieces and great nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Steve was preceded in death by his son, Matthew Stephen Rau, his dad, Robert R. Rau, his uncle, David Rau, his grandparents, Ralph and Dorthy Rau, and John and Patricia Flaherty.

A memorial service will be held on August 18, 2020 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Officer’s Christian Fellowship OCF Home Office 3784 South Inca, Englewood, Colorado 80110-3405. Phone number 1-800-424-1984.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Tuesday August 18th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Tuesday August 18th, 2020 1:00pm
    United States Air Force Academy


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Posted at 11:41am
So sorry to hear, we were in UPT at the same time. Blessed be the weary for they will find solace in the Lord.


Posted at 10:56pm
I was a classmate of Steve's at the Academy and we went through UPT at the same time. He was a great guy and loved by all. My condolences to all of you.

Tim Swett

Posted at 09:50pm
I’m so sorry to hear about Steve’s passing. As a classmate and fellow Honor Guard teammate, I have fond memories of Steve’s smile and genuine kindness. He’s home now!

John Bernhart

Posted at 09:31pm
Can’t believe you have passed, Steve.’s a toast! Mighty ‘90

Jay Updegraff

Posted at 07:11pm
Steve was an Academy Classmate and fellow KC-10 Pilot at McGuire AFB. I remember him well. We flew together several times and I recall at least one desert deployment together to AL Dhafra in the UAE. I also remember Steve was a dedicated, professional aviator and AF officer. Our nation owes Steve and his family a debt of gratitude it can never reply. Thank you for your service to our Air Force! The Long Blue Line and your classmates from Mighty 90 salute you!!

Jay Updegraff, USAF (Ret)

Mark Brown Posted at 09:22pm

I’m thankful for the privilege of having Steve as a friend through those tough years at USAFA. Blessings and comfort to Tabitha and all the family. Mark Brown, USAF (Ret) USAFA ‘90

Tom McCarthy Posted at 10:07am

Classmate, friend, fellow airman, we are better for the time we spent together.

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