William "Bill" Craig Rauschkolb, 64, of Oklahoma City, died Friday, March 31, 2017, following a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service in his honor will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, April 7, at Crossings Church (14600 Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73134).
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Leslie; his sons, Eric (Kate) Rauschkolb of Longmont, Colo., and Andy (Taylor) Rauschkolb of Oklahoma City. Bill also is survived by the eight lights of his life his grandchildren, Ethan, Ben, Will, Ellie, Hank, AnnaBelle, Charlie and Nate Rauschkolb. In addition, he is survived by his brothers, Frank (Ardis) Rauschkolb of Portland, Ore., Berry (Patty) Rauschkolb of Parker, Colo., and Fred Rauschkolb of Portland; and nephews, Jay and Philip Rauschkolb.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Fran Rauschkolb; his older brother, Jan; and his nephew, Forest.
Bill was born April 5, 1952, in Midwest City, Okla. Being the son of an Air Force officer meant that Dad moved around quite a bit as a boy, but he graduated from Denver East High School and chose to pursue his post-secondary education at Colorado State University. That is where he met the love of his life, Leslie (nee Ruth).
While in college at CSU, Dad made the most important decision of his life to give his life over to Jesus Christ. That faith decision guided Dad's path from that point forward and shaped the man, husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend that he would become. As an adult, Dad lived in Eugene, Ore., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Medina, Ohio, Temecula, Calif., and Oklahoma City, Okla. At each stop along the way, he met lifelong friends. In our minds, he was the living embodiment of Will Rogers: "He never met a man he didn't like." During these last few months of his illness, it was truly heartwarming for him to hear from friends from all over the country, and for him to hear of the difference he made in people's lives.
Dad and Mom shared a marriage that was rock strong. Up until the end, Mom and Dad enjoyed snuggling, sharing time together, laughing with and at each other, and truly being each other's best friend. Their marriage set a biblical example for their boys, grandchildren and friends. In fact, Mom and Dad's outward expressions of affection would often cause our eyes to roll or our cheeks to blush (even though deep down we loved that they were so much in love). Besides being with Mom, Dad was the happiest when surrounded by his grandchildren, and he almost fainted when he heard the news that he would have a granddaughter, as up until that point there had been 17 straight boys born on his side of the family. He was intentional about making one-on-one time with each grandchild a priority.
Dad worked for most of his career as a salesman, and many of his clients came to consider him more of a friend than a work associate. Even though there were aspects to his sales jobs that he enjoyed (primarily the people), his favorite job was his last one: the facilities manager at Crossings Christian School in OKC. Known there as "Mr. Bill," he got to give high-fives and words of encouragement and smiles to kids day in and day out, all the while completing tasks to help teachers be able to give kids a top-notch education. He truly loved the kids and staff of CCS and found there more reward and joy than in any previous job he held.
Dad was a man after God's own heart, was a courageous and loyal husband, and was the best dad any kid could've asked for. He will be missed, but we know that his legacy (of both the DNA and the faith kinds), will live on forever. Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
In lieu of flowers, Dad would've appreciated you making a donation to: Crossings Christian School - Teacher Needs, 14400 Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73134.