A Memorial Service for Steven Richard Shrader, 44, of Ardmore, will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, June 21, 2019, in Kirk Funeral Home Chapel. Bro. Timothy Milo will officiate.
Stephen was born July 3, 1974, to Richard and Claudia Shrader in Ardmore and was raised with his two sisters, Claudia and Claudette. He passed away June 5, 2019.
Stephen graduated from Plainview High School with the class of 1992. He became a starting linebacker for Tulsa University where he played until injuries ended his career three years later. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma and went on to receive a master’s degree in education.
Stephen was an athlete, honor student, teacher, coach, counselor, and principal. He was a son, grandson, and loyal friend, but nothing made him as proud as his three children; son, Keenan, and daughters, Cameron and Isabella. His sometimes-anxious disposition calmed and his face lit up at the mention of their names.
Stephen was a competitor from birth. Regardless of the game he was playing; football, basketball, spades, dominoes, or the game of life, he was always focused on the win. Football had been his game of choice in his younger days, but time and injuries had begun to take a toll on Stephen’s body and he began to experience the long-term effects of what having been a star football player really meant. As his body was riddled with aches and pains, he also believed he was dealing with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head. He talked about speaking out against the perils that football could cause.
Stephen loved life. He loved his family and his friends. He loved people he had only just met. He loved music, the beach, the country and driving his truck. He loved always being right. But he had come to learn that he’d rather be happy than be right. And his last days on this earth were happy. He believed that “Today is gonna be a good day.”
He knew when he left this earth who his friends were and who he could count on. It could be said that Stephen died too young. But Stephen never did anything in his life haphazardly. Those who knew and loved him know that this, like everything else, was right on time. He will be missed.
He is preceded in death by father, Richard Shrader; grandparents, Chester and Jean Shrader, and uncle, Michael “Mickey” Shrader.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out and helped us through this grievous time. A special thanks to the staff at Kirk Funeral Home, for their kind friendship and all they have done for Stephen during both his life and death. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation made in honor of Stephen to Boston Medical Center, CTE Brain Research, 801 Massachusetts Ave, 1st Floor, Boston MA 02118.