Cover photo for Randall Henry Rathje's Obituary
Randall Henry Rathje Profile Photo

Randall Henry Rathje

January 19, 1951 — January 7, 2024

Saginaw

Randall Henry Rathje

Randall Henry Rathje was called home to heaven to be with his Savior on January 7th, 2024.

He was born on January 19th, 1951 to Alvin and Gladys Rathje in Pigeon, MI, and became a child of God through Holy Baptism at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

He grew up on the family farm until leaving home to attend high school at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, MI.  After graduating from high school in 1969, he decided to pursue the pastoral ministry and enrolled at Northwestern College in Watertown, WI.  He graduated from Northwestern in 1973 and went on to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI.  He received his Masters of Divinity in 1977 and was ordained into the Holy Ministry as the pastor of Divine Savior Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, IN.

That same year, on May 21st, he married his loving wife, Diane Jean Krieger, who had been one of his closest friends ever since she first threw popcorn in his saxophone freshman year in high school. 

In 1980, he accepted a call to serve as a professor at his former high school, Michigan Lutheran Seminary, where he taught Latin, coached multiple sports, drove bus for the choir, ran A/V for theatre, and helped out wherever else he was needed.  His passion for coaching was most evident as the varsity football coach, where he had the opportunity to impact many young men, including his two sons.  He also enjoyed watching his daughter, Jenny, cheer on her cardinals as a cheerleader and member of the pom pom squad.  As a professor at MLS, he considered it a wonderful privilege to be able to serve the students and their families and to encourage young Christians to consider serving in the public ministry.

After twenty years of service at Michigan Lutheran Seminary, he moved on to teaching special education in the Saginaw Public School System for thirteen years, before retiring in 2013.

Randy was a longtime member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Saginaw, MI, where his family was blessed to grow in faith through the ministry of faithful pastors and to enjoy the fellowship of many, wonderful Christian friends.  He sang in the choir and served in many different positions and on various boards and councils.

By the grace of God, Randy lived his entire life with the confidence that because of the perfect life, innocent suffering and death, and glorious resurrection of his Savior Jesus Christ, there is absolutely nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God, not even death (Romans 8).  This is the greatest and most important legacy he leaves to his family and to those who were blessed to know him.

Randy is survived by his wife of 46 years, Diane, his daughter Jennifer (Dan) Zeiss, his sons Chris (Beth) and Sean (Ashley) Rathje, his brother Robert (Cyndy) Rathje, brother-in-law David Krieger, granddaughters Kyah, Bryn, and Lily Rathje, grandsons Isaac and Kinnick Rathje and Dash Zeiss, cousins, nieces, and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Alvin and Gladys Rathje, whom he was very much looking forward to seeing again in heaven.

A funeral service will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church (5051 McCarty Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603) at 11am on Saturday, January 13th, with Pastor Mike Nitz officiating.  Visitation will be held from 9 to 11am.  A private, family committal will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Pigeon, MI on Sunday, January 14th at 2pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Bethany Lutheran Church https://secure.myvanco.com/L-Z3XK/home or Michigan Lutheran Seminary https://community.mlsem.org.

Arrangements are entrusted to W.L. Case and Company Funeral Directors, 4480 Mackinaw Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603. Please visit www.casefuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the guest book, and leave messages for the family.

 

 

 

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Randall Henry Rathje, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 13, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Bethany Lutheran Church

5051 McCarty Rd, Saginaw, MI 48603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Bethany Lutheran Church

5051 McCarty, Saginaw, MI 48603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 2717

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree