A memorial service was held at Living Hope Church at 640 Manitou Blvd., Colorado Springs, on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m.
Rachelle Linnet Stiger was born on Oct. 30, 1979, in Taiwan R.O.C. to missionary parents James Santee and Patricia (Bowman) Santee who raised her in the Christian faith.
She was a fearless and energetic child who loved animals and was quick to accept new challenges. Her lovely singing voice flowed through the house from early morning onward throughout the day. Rachelle had a positive attitude and a knack for language and communication that allowed her to make friends quickly, including the many Chinese and Taiwanese kids in her neighborhood.
Tragically, Rachelle’s mother, Patricia, died of cancer when Rachelle was 9. Later, she and her new stepmother, Leslie, were able to form a strong mother-daughter bond.
Over the course of her life, Rachelle had a number of educational experiences from traditional classrooms to home schooling to under-graduate studies at Fort Lewis College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. While at Fort Lewis College, she met Matthew Stiger, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. Together, they enjoyed the outdoor experiences of rock climbing, fly-fishing and river rafting.
Rachelle and Matt were united in marriage on Dec. 16, 2000, at Radiant Church in Colorado Springs. They were blessed with two children: Amber and Cavin. Matt joined the Marine Corps in 2003, which took them to multiple sites stateside, as well as foreign countries, which broadened their international experience. Rachelle loved the military lifestyle and the many wonderful families that she befriended along the way. She was a dedicated wife and mother to her children. She pursued her love of body building and personal training in recent years and competed in fitness competitions.
She is survived by her husband, Matthew Stiger, and their two children: Amber, 11, and Cavin, 6; her father, James Santee; stepmother Leslie Olmstead Santee, Pagosa Springs; brothers Rex (Debra) Santee, Cary, N.C.; and Kent (Angela) Santee, Colorado Springs; sister Kelly (Joshua) Howard, Monument; step-brothers Rudyard (Susan) Olmstead, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Roland (Jill) Olmstead, Enid, Okla.; father-in-law Allen Stiger and mother-in-law Cathy Stiger, Colorado Springs; brother-in-law, Mark Stiger, Fort Collins, Colo.; nephews Colin, Austin, Ethan and Aedan Santee, Josiah, Hudson, Boaz and John Olmstead; and nieces Meredith and Catalina Santee, Verity and Lily Ruth Olmstead and Tessa and Millie Stiger. She was preceded in death by her mother, Patricia (Bowman) Santee, and grandparents Millard and Eleanor Bowman and Carl and Irene Santee.
Rachelle will be remembered and missed for her positive outlook, the ease with which she took on new challenges, and her gutsy, fun, capable, friendly and engaging personality.