Cover photo for Rev. Stephen Paul Rynearson's Obituary
Rev. Stephen Paul Rynearson Profile Photo
1961 Rev. 2022

Rev. Stephen Paul Rynearson

July 12, 1961 — December 15, 2022

Hewitt, Texas

On Thursday December 15, 2022, Rev. Dr. Stephen Paul Rynearson of Hewitt, TX passed away at the age sixty-one after a long battle with cancer.

Stephen was born on July 12, 1961 in Spokane, WA to parents Rodney and Rhoda (Ryan) Rynearson.  He was baptized on July 24, 1961 at Faith Lutheran Church for the Deaf, Spokane, WA by father, Rev. Rodney Rynearson. His family moved to Brighton, NY in 1967 where he spent his elementary school years and then to Detroit, MI in 1974 where he graduated from Lutheran High School East on June 9, 1979.  During this time he was confirmed on May 11, 1975 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Detroit MI, by Rev. Edwin Rossow and Rev. Rodney Rynearson. He studied at Concordia University Ann Arbor, earning an Associates of Arts in May 1981 and then a Bachelor of Arts in May 1983.  While completing his studies in Ann Arbor, he felt God’s call to the ministry and went on to attend Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.  After completing a vicarage at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Greenwich, CT, he graduated with a Master of Divinity and was ordained and installed, June 14, 1987, as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Aransas Pass, TX where he served for 4 ½ years.  In January 1992, he accepted a call to Peace Lutheran Church in Hewitt, TX where he served as Pastor for 30 years until his retirement in January 2022.  For 12 years, during his time at Peace, he also served as Circuit Counselor providing guidance and support to congregations throughout the region.  On May 19, 2018 he was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from Concordia Seminary.

While studying at the Seminary in St. Louis, Stephen met Linda Renee Minnie of Bethalto, IL and they were married on May 26, 1985.  Together they raised three sons Joshua Adam (1987), Andrew Stephen (1989), and Nathaniel Luke (1998).  In 2016, he was delighted to receive a promotion to Grandfather with the birth of his first and only grandchild, Micah.  Stephen was a loving and devoted husband and father and took great pride in his family.

In addition to his service to community through his work as Pastor, Stephen also spent most of his life involved in the Boy Scouts of America, earning his Eagle Scout rank as a boy, and later serving in various scout leadership roles for most of his adult life.  Helping boys achieve their scouting goals was something he found very meaningful and satisfying.  Other pastimes included woodworking, golf, travel, and watching his favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers.

He was proceeded in death by his mother, Rhoda.

He is survived by his loving wife, Linda, sons Joshua (Viktor) of Austin, TX, and Andrew and Nathaniel both of Hewitt, TX, and adored grandson Micah.  He is also survived by his father Rodney (Velma), brothers Timothy (Ruth) and Peter (Monica), along with many nieces and nephews and other extended family.

Visitation will be held at Grace Gardens Funeral Home, 8220 Woodway Dr, Woodway, TX 76712 on Tuesday December 20, 2022  from 6:00 PM  to 8:00 PM.   A Celebration of Life service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church on Wednesday December 21, 2022  beginning at 10:00 AM. A gravesite service will be directly following at Oakwood Cemetery, 2124 S 5th St, Waco, TX 76706.

Memorial contributions can be made to Peace Lutheran Church, 9301 Panther Way, Waco, Texas 76712 or Providence Hospice, 6700 Sanger Ave, Waco, Texas 76710.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home Chapel

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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Victory Service

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

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