June 27, 2024

Steven Randall Lange, 77, of Sterling passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Denver, CO.  A closed casket service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, July 1 at the Berean Church in Sterling, Colorado.  The family would be honored if you would join them for lunch afterwards in the fellowship hall of the church.  Burial services will follow at the Lynch Twin Buttes Cemetery on the family farm north of Crook.

Steve was born February 22, 1947, in Hugo, Colorado to a young ranching couple, William “Bill” G. Lange and his wife Jerri.  His father was a State Brand Inspector who served in several Colorado locations until the family returned to the Limon area in 1955. 

Steve, like his father, was interested in horses and quickly became involved in rodeo, an activity his dad had pursued for years.  He participated in many rodeos winning many buckles, awards and titles.   In 1964 he was both the National High School Bulldogging and the All-Around Champion.  At CSU Steve was a member of the rodeo team and won the Intercollegiate Mountain States regional bulldogging title his senior year.

When Steve was 12, he began working for Bill and Martha Craig. They not only taught him about ranching, but instilled in him good work ethics, a strong desire to grow and succeed and the most important thing—to love and serve Jesus with his whole heart.   They were his mentors who provided him loving support and guidance throughout the remainder of their lives. 

While in college, Steve married Wanda Johnson, a union lasting 57 years until his death.  After graduating with a degree in business, Steve wanted to do something other than ranching or brand inspecting and wanted to live somewhere besides Colorado. So, in 1969 he secured a job with Bank of America and they, with young son Chad, moved to California.   California was exciting; they loved the ocean, redwoods, vineyards and San Francisco. 

His time with Bank of America was challenging but rewarding.   He was promoted several times, each promotion meaning a move to a new area.  Move #2 brought rodeo back into his life. He did well, thoroughly enjoyed it and even served as the Chairman of the California Cowboys Rodeo Association for 2 years.

While in Santa Rosa (Move #3), he commuted to San Francisco twice a week to attend Golden Gate University where he obtained an MBA in Finance and Marketing.  Promotion #4 took him to Sausalito. Daughter, Kelly, was born in 1974.  The anticipated Move #5 to either Berkeley or Guam was not acceptable.  It was time to go home to Colorado.

Steve continued his banking career in Colorado for several years.   In 1978 he obtained a real estate license and in 1979 left banking to open a real estate company.  Lange Realty operated in Arvada for 40+ years.

1996 brought agriculture back into Steve’s life when he purchased an irrigated farm at Crook. Chad and Kristan continue to operate the farm and have blessed us with 5 grandsons to help enjoy it.  The grandsons liked horses and having horses meant horse shows.  Two boys competed, as did Steve after not riding for over 25 years.  In 2018 he placed 6th in Amateur Limited Ranch Reining at the World Show in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Steve loved the farm, his horses, raising cattle, and working the land.  He especially enjoyed bailing hay.  Most importantly, Steve wanted Chad and his grandsons to love and appreciate the land, the animals and the country way of life.

In May 2023 Steve’s cancer came back after 11 years of being cancer free. While enduring many rounds of chemo and radiation he was able to enjoy Matt’s and Collin’s weddings, Sam’s high school graduation and Jesse’s continuation.  

On the night of his passing, he said he saw Jesus and knew he would soon be going home.  Steve quietly and peacefully left this world for his heavenly home.

Steve is survived by his wife, Wanda, son Chad (Kristan), daughter Kelly, 4 grandsons Matthew (Katie), Collin (Lindsey), Samuel and Jesse. He is also survived by his mother, Jerri Fowler, sister Susan McCauley-Lange, brother Greg Westfall, and stepsiblings Jo Marble Downey (Ron), Walt Marble (Julie), Gloria Griffith Cox, Neta Griffith Rau (John), and Jackie Griffith, and other family members Peg Williams and Cyndi Lange.

Steve was preceded in death by his father Bill Lange, stepmother Della Lange, brother Billy Lange, brother-in-law Perry McCauley, grandson Brady Lange, and his dear friends Bill and Martha Craig.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the David Walsh Cancer Center, 615 Fairhurst Drive, 80751 or to a charity of your choice.