Theodore James Rath



Lt. Col. Theodore James Rath, 79, New Palestine, passed away on May 2, 2024, with his loving family by his side. Ted was born on May 16, 1944, in Cleveland, OH, to Theodore August and Anna Zelda (Friday) Rath. Ted graduated from Ohio Northern University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Ted’s first passion was being with his loving family and friends. He was compassionate but loved to joke around. He could often be found golfing with the same group of men for over 40 years. He loved to travel and was often referred to as the world-traveler, no one really knowing if he was ever home or visiting another country. He was a tremendously loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend to all who knew him and will be sadly missed. Ted’s second passion was proudly representing our country serving in the Army over the course of 29 years, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Over the course of serving, he earned many medals and badges inclusive of Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Purple Heart. Ted was also employed by Naval Avionics and Raytheon as an engineer. And Ted’s third passion was being a man of faith. He worshiped the Lord and was a member of Knightstown Friends Church and New Palestine United Methodist Church.

Ted is survived by his loving wife Cheryl (Aldrich) Rath of 8 years; his children, Tiffany Rath Hardy and Shelley (Charlie) Rath Decker, and April (Nick) Ernstes, Seth (Tiffany) Johnson, and Holly (Greg) Tisdale; 7 awesome grandchildren: James, Tyler, Justin, Charlie, Brooks, Jared, and Paige; siblings, Dody Oblak and Kathy Curtis; several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews; and special and supporting friends, Steve &Kathie Reese and Lee (the late Jan) Hardy.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents; mother of his children, Sandra J. Rath; and brother-in-law, Fred Oblak.

Stillinger Family Funeral Home, Greenfield, is of service to the Rath family during their loss. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at New Palestine Cemetery with full military rites afforded. Immediately following, a visitation will be held at New Palestine United Methodist Church from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations: Wounded Warrior Project, New Palestine United Methodist Church, and/or American Cancer Society (c/o pancreatic research). If you would like to sign the online guest book or send condolences to the family, you may do so by visiting