Obituary for Stephen Rayhawk
Stephen Marshall Rayhawk passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 28, 2017 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. Stephen was born on March 2, 1937 to Arthur and Ann Virginia Rayhawk in Washington, D.C., the third of nine children. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nancy (Hunt) Rayhawk, his seven children, Tricia Schuler (Thad), Eileen Griesemer (Kevin), Mary LaBelle (James), Jim Rayhawk (Staci), Katie Volz (Dan), Tom Rayhawk, and Dan Rayhawk (Laura), as well as eighteen grandchildren, Patrick, Erin and Colin Schuler; Will, Meghan, James and Bryan Griesemer; Grace, Sam and Madeline LaBelle; Luke and Kate Rayhawk; Ben, Tommy and Mae Volz; and Claire, Henry and Jack Rayhawk.
After moves to Pittsburgh and St. Louis, Stephen attended St. Roch School, was valedictorian of his Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School class of 1955, and recipient of a full tuition scholarship to Washington University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1959. He started his career at Lockheed in Los Angeles, California and received his master’s degree in electrical engineering from St. Louis University in 1970. He moved back to St. Louis in 1965, settling in University City and spent the rest of his career at McDonnell Douglas in flight simulation until his retirement in 1992. He was an avid basketball player, coach and fan, an involved CBC alumnus, and long-time parishioner of St. Gerard Majella where he coordinated the Perpetual Adoration Chapel for many years. He instilled the love of music in his children, established by nightly renditions of beloved bedtime songs now carried on with the next generation of Rayhawks. His favorite role was being “Gramps” to eighteen grandchildren, proudly attending countless soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, water polo and racquetball games as well as dance recitals and theatrical productions, often exclaiming “I love you to pieces”. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
A memorial Mass celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood, with a visitation held in the church vestibule from 10–11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School Class of 1955 Scholarship Fund, 1850 De La Salle Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141 or to a charity of your choice.