Stephen "Steve" Lowell Rader, 47, Madison, Wis., passed away Friday (5-24-13) after a bicycle accident in Madison.
Steve was born April 14, 1966 in Missoula, Mont. He grew up in Lincoln, Neb., graduating from Lincoln Southeast High School in 1984, where he was an all-state tennis player.
Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990 with a degree in computer science, and shortly thereafter began working for the University, providing computer and technical support for various academic and research efforts. This included serving as manager of technical computing services for the Space and Science Engineering Center, and as systems and network manager for the High Energy Physics group. In 2010, Steve was named director of computing for the University's Department of Physics.
In addition to his family and professional career, Steve's passions included computers and coding, cycling, competitive badminton, tennis, bike polo, snowboarding, music, yoga, radio controlled aircraft and fresh water aquaria.
Family includes his wife, Vicki Tobias; daughter, Ariella Rader; parents, Benjamin and Barbara Rader of Lincoln, Neb.; and sister Anne Rader, her husband Ken Gatter, and her sons Alex and Aiden Gatter, all of Lake Oswego, Ore.
A memorial service and reception will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway, Madison, Wis.
In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing a fund in Steve's name at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Memorials can be made payable to the UW Foundation in memory of Steve Rader, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278 or go to www.supportuw.org/giving.
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We were neighbirs back in the mid-90's and he always was friendly, smart, kind, and engaged in great conversations about current events, and any other topics that arose. I am so saddened to hear of his death. My best to his family. Peace.
I have some fond memories of Steve, working with him at the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC). I was hired just before he was back late 1992. I think its fair to say he was the Center's first Unix administrator. My favorite story is at one time we shared a server computer to do our work. I was testing software for bugs, and siting next to him in a temporary workspace. One of the programs I was testing had a terrible bug that filled the disk on the computer (and back in 1992, a 2 Gb file was impressive!) Steve noticed right away that I ground our shared computer to a halt. He got a giggle out of the bug I found. Always knowledgeable and friendly, I can't imagine the world without Steve. While we haven't talked in some years, I am saddened to hear of his passing and the world is an emptier place without him.
I've known Steve for many years through the UW Physics Department. He was an incredible asset to the department, and a wonderful person. I will miss him.
I worked with Steve at the UW Physics Department. Computer-related problems tended to vanish when he got involved. We shared common pursuits; once I did a running workout with him. He seemed to find much in life to be of intense interest. This is a worthy trait which I should like to emulate, and shall think of Steve when I do.
I worked with Steve at UW High Energy Physics. We had our offices just a couple of doors apart. Greetings with Steve were always enthusiastic and warm. I often needed assistance with system management issues and he was our go-to guy. He always made me feel welcome and usually found time to make a job related visit a personal visit as well. His systems knowledge was extensive and he was willing to take the time to explain what he was doing so that even I could understood the procedure. I very much enjoyed working with Steve.
I retired from UW. Since then I've run into Steve several times. The last was a year ago in a barber shop. We sat in neighboring chairs exchanging pleasantries as he caught me up on the department news. He finished before me. As he was walking to the the door he stopped, did an about-face, and stated what a pleasure it had been working with me. A gesture from the heart that left me with a memory I will always cherish. I will miss him as, no doubt, will many others.
Our deepest sympathies and support for your entire family. --Your friends at the Madison Youth Choirs
Steve was one of those people who could just make you smile. We worked on his cars and his scooter.Steve was a true "gearhead". He will be missed geatly !Thoughts and prayers to all of his family and hios many friends.
I remember Steve as a kid and teenager growing up around the Woods Park Tennis community. The intrepid team of Kirby and Rader always looking for a match against the adults, always ready to "hit some balls" or play a set. Twelve or 15 years ago Steve called out of the blue and we played at Woods. He cleaned my clock having become a great player since going to Wisconsin. I was impressed by the man he had become.
I was proud to call Steve my friend. He was a gifted athlete and a great tennis player. During the phase of his life when his primary sport was tennis, I would hit with him regularly at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. He loved tennis ... and loved working on improving his game. His professional-caliber serve and strong backhand earned him a few titles and a state ranking in men's singles. The few times that we played together in mixed doubles tournaments, I was very grateful to be on his side, reaping the benefits of his overpowering service game. I will remember Steve and his tennis always. I am very saddened by his loss and the hardship that his family must endure.
Anyone who knew Steve feels a tremendous loss. I will always remember his infectious smile, optimistic nature, and boundless energy. Steve approached his varied interests with great passion. He was a terrific tennis player. Our weekly hitting sessions were always fun because of Steve's excitement and love for the game. I will truly miss him and will cherish his friendship forever.
Steve's parents became our close friends when we moved to Lincoln in the mid-70's, so we watched him grow up. One of our many fond memories of him was of a boy who loved nature. He would collect tadpoles and try to sell them around the neighborhood. As I remember it he was too shy to actually ask for money and would just go up to door and hold out the bowl of tadpoles with a sign, hoping someone would buy one. He also gave our son a toad once that surely would have lived a happier life with Steve. His love of computers started early and he had Pete (a true techno-idiot) working on a Radio Shack computer shortly after he taught Ben to use one--thus making Ben and Pete the first two members of the History Department to write on computers. As Steve progressed from a boy to a man, he matured into fine human being. His parents are rightfully very proud of him.
It was a pleasure to work with Steve for over 13 years. He was always just a page, call, email or instant message away, no matter the distance. He was always helpful, engaged, concerned and caring. He solved our computing and networking problems with a sense of humor and perspective that made him a joy to work with. I will forever miss his cheerful understanding and enthusiasm. My thoughts are with Vicki and Ariella.
Unfortunately, I did not know Stephen except through his wonderful parents, Barbara and Ben Rader, especially Barbara.
She was my adult piano teacher first, then my dear friend, later my next door neighbor. We talked too much about teen sons; she listened well; her Stephen was away from teen angst/mine were there. My heart is with Barbara and Ben, Ariella, and all family.
I best remember Steve as a teenager.a bit of a devil who could never remember to pass on my tennis times to his Dad
I was so sad to see this. I worked with Steve at WiscNet. He was an interesting and fun guy. My sympathies to the family for this terrible loss
Steve came to several of our badminton tournaments. Most recently, last October. He always wanted to play in as many events as he could-not just to get his money's worth, but to just play the game of badminton. By the end of the tournament his backside was really dragging after having played so many games-but he enjoyed every, smash, drop, and clear-win or lose. Our tournament won't be the same without him. He may "be gone from our sight but not from our hearts." He lives on in the Top Flight Badminton scrapbooks. Steve and his wife Vicki have a special place in the hearts of the Top Flight Badminton Club members.
Steve was a great system administrator for the Physics Department. Always helpful and very responsive. His untimely passing was a terrible loss, and I will miss him.
Wherever Steve and I were, in the 13 years we worked together in the Physics Department, we were always within a quick instant message away. We enjoyed solving department computing problems instantly. I am going to sorely miss the AIMs from Steve forever.
I knew Stephen only as a good-natured host; just that was enough to sense how dearly he will be missed. Vicki, I am thinking of you and Ariella.
Steve was my boss at the UW-Physics Department just this year. He was one of the most amazing bosses I've had. He was always smiling and was very kind. Prayers go out to his family and friends.
Thinking of you and your family.
I remember Steve sitting on the porch of the farmhouse in Missouri where he visited each summer. His Grandpa , "Lowell" Rader, always purchased overalls for his grand children.....my vision is Grandpa Rader and Stepen Lowell Rader (about 6 years old) sitting there in their overalls having a big discussion....probably about farming....Grandpa liked to tell about Steve's Uncle Mike and Steve's Dad plowing with a team of horses.
Steve, Anne and their parents coming to visit each summer was a big event for Granny and Granpa Rader, aunts and uncles and cousins...a big time for all!
I also vividly remember Steve and his little girl, Ariella, about five yrs. old, coming to see us, going canoeing and staying at our cabin. He was so proud of her and was such a good, fatherly caretaker. It was also evident that she adored him. The most important thing Steve accomplished is "Ariella".
We are so proud of he and his family and can hardly wait to meet Vicki and see Ariella...as a beautifly young lady.......love to all of you!
Ada & Mike Cochran
Steve was great guy and he is very easy to converse with. I have known Steve for several years through playing badminton with him and I will miss him dearly. I'm sure our UW-Badminton Club members will also miss him very much, especially those that have played with him in the past years. Steve had improved his skills so much over the course of times that I have gotten to know him and he really enjoys playing single matches a lot as it is so much more challenging. He will greatly be missed!
Although I knew Steve only through his parents, I know his Mom and Dad well. They were very proud of Steve as a husband, father, and genuinely kind human being. I'm sure he will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.
A special memories was when steve was a boy visiting his grandma rader he was always exploring and bringing home odd critters like a shrew which proberly his dad, uncles and aunts never new about. or would dare bring home.He had a special love natural
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