Stephen ‘Steve' M. Rajek, 35, Merrill, died Thursday, July 14, 2011 at the St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN, after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Born on July 22, 1975 in Merrill, he was the son of Gary A. and Karen L. (Hinner) Rajek. He married Amy LaBonty September 22, 2001 in Merrill.
Steve was a 1993 graduate of Merrill Senior High School. He joined the United States Marine Corps December 1, 1994 and served in Italy, Peru, Arizona and North Carolina as a Sergeant. He was honorably discharged March 18, 1998.He attended Chippewa Valley Technical School from 1999 to 2001, receiving an Associates Degree as a Civil Engineer Technician. During his life, Steve held many positions within Merrill Iron and Steel, Inc.. He started sweeping the floors as a child to working in the shop and eventually into the office in Production Control, Detailing and finally Project Management. Steve was always willing to help any person in any department, anytime and anywhere. He enjoyed many activities including hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, spending time with family and grilling outdoors. Steve was very active in Scouting, beginning in Pack 303 as a Tiger Cub and on to Wolf, Bear,Webelos and earning his Arrow of Light Award. He crossed over to Troop 303 earning up to Life Rank and Order of the Arrow Brotherhood. When his first born son was in first grade, Steve and his son joined Cub Scout Pack 502. Steve became a Den leader and served as Cub Master of the Pack. Steve believed in the scouting program and was involved in many activities, camping and fundraising promotions. Steve completed Wood Badge Training. He was a member of the NRA and Ducks Unlimited.
Stephen is survived by his loving wife of nearly 10 years, Amy Rajek; his parents, Gary & Karen Rajek; three beautiful children, Bryce, Brayden and Britney Rajek, all of Merrill; maternal grandfather, Roger Hinner, maternal grandmother, MaryAnn Hinner; paternal grandparents, Robert & Genevieve Rajek, all of Merrill; two brothers, Richard Rajek, Merrill, and Gregory (Mary) Rajek, Janesville; two sisters, Jill (Peter Fry II) Rajek and Katie Rajek, all of Merrill; six uncles, Robert (Karen) Rajek, Roger (Rebecca) Hinner, Kenneth (special friend Liz) Hinner, Robert (Candace) Hinner, Rick (Kathy) Hinner, all of Merrill, and Pat (Mary) Hinner, Gleason; two aunts, Kathy (Thomas) VanDerGeest and Mary Rajek, all of Merrill, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his uncle Wayne Rajek.
Services will be held 11:00 AM Monday, July 18, 2011 at St. Stephen's United Church of Christ. Visitation will be from 4:00PM until 9:00 PM Sunday, July 17, 2011 at Waid Funeral Home and again from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM Monday at the church. Pastor Missy Holdorf will officiate. Burial will follow in Merrill Memorial Park. Military honors will be provided by the United States Marine Corps. Waid Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.