Obituary: Stephen George Gratzer

October 16, 1948 – November 17, 2023

Stephen G. Gratzer, 75, of Bedford, passed away on Friday, November 17, 2023, at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Born October 16, 1948, in Bedford, he was the son of George and Anna Mae (Wray) Gratzer. He married Janice Brown, on March 8, 1975, and she survives. He retired as a golf course superintendent and from General Electric.

Steve’s first loves were family and the outdoors. His wife, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins were his pride and joy. Whether playing side by side or watching from the sidelines, he would be there for his brother, nephews, sons, or grandchildren. He had a passion for golf, fishing, mushroom hunting, and arrowhead hunting.

From a young age and throughout his life, the golf course was a focal point, working, playing, and cheering family and friends on. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Agronomy, he helped build the Gary Works U.S. Steel Supervisors Club (now River Pointe Country Club) in Hobart, IN. Here he met Janice and the two were soon married. He moved back home to Bedford to be the greenskeeper at Otis Park before circling back to Hobart again on the course he helped build until 1993 when he moved back to Bedford to stay. He would decide he was done working on the course and started working at GE, until he had to retire early due to health issues.

Though no longer working on the course, he was still out there every weekend and more. His grandkids had become the true focal point once they arrived. He loved big and had a sense of humor and a smile that were contagious. Not one to stand around, he was always willing to jump in and help with anything.

One thing people might not know, he was a great artist who could draw very well and loved woodworking. He went by many names, Steve, Weevie, Dad, Brother, Poppie, Grampa, Uncle, and Friend.

Surviving with his wife Janice, are his two sons, Jamie Gratzer and wife Tessa of Bedford, Scott Gratzer and wife Lupita of Mitchell; nine grandchildren, Henry, Maggie, Sammie, Jasper, Tempe, Frankie, Stephen, Christopher, and Angie; his brother Donald R Gratzer and wife Tonya; sister-in-law Elizabeth Gratzer; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Charlie Gratzer, and two sisters, Donna Hawkins and Betty Rose Brooking.

Cremation was chosen and he wished for no services.

Family and friends may express condolences at