Stephannie Rutka
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

October 10 1994- 7th grade English

S- is for silly acting
T- is for truthful
E- is for exciting
P- is for patient
H-is for helpful
A- is for anxious
N- is for nice
N- is for needful
I - is for intelligent
E- is for elite 

R - is for reasonable
U - is for unusual personality
T - is for talkative
K - is for kind-hearted
A - is for adventurous@

The Sunflower Story...
During Stephannie's stay at the Lighthouse for Women,
sunflower seeds were donated to the "Lighthouse Ladies" to plant.  These flowers would grow, blossom and progress into beautiful flowers reaching to the sun...never seeing it's shadow.  Always looking to the Light.. 
Hope for blossoming beauty  would be seen as the days turned to months...
just as we had hoped and prayed for Stephannie's recovery.  Steph's discharge
would be due just as the flowers reached for the sun...

This memorial website was created in the memory of our beloved, Stephannie Rutka who was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Dec 16, 1981 and passed away on Sep 20, 2004 at the age of 22.  We will remember her forever.
Not how she died; but  how she lived.

Steph was diagnosed with bipolar- manic depression after being admitted to the hospital for a "psychotic break." Christmas Eve 2003.
The signs and symptoms were missed thru her lifetime and seen thru her by the loss of her life.

Stephannie had undergone almost 9 months of treatment at a dual treatment facility- The Lighthouse for Women.  Women from 18 and "a mother's age" were treated there for mental health and substance abuse issues.
Almost nine months for a rebirth...of Eternal Life and Precious Memory...
Stephannie was treated for bipolar disorder/manic depression as well as treatment to rule out affective disorder and borderline personality traits.

Numerous treatments of medications thruout her care yielded even more cycles of depression and mania.  She had been on numerous med trials from Lithium, Depakote, Respirodol, Zyprexia, Neurotin, Topamax, Seroquel, Welbutrin to name a few...weaning and redosing often yielded changes in her self confidence from flareups of acne, wgt gain, or extreme mood swings from overly tiredness to mania. 

Stephannie knew meds would be a life time regieme...autopsy report revealed Steph died of  pulmonary edema and heart failure.  
Her death was ruled undetermined cause with
medication toxicity.

She left no suicide note... 
only journals of poems and bantering lifes journies  of living with some 20 women sharing bathrooms/kitchen and chores for activity of daily living. 

Her journals tell us of her deepest thoughts and often rambling thoughts during
the lasts months of her life.  Steph voiced her thoughts reguarding parents and her disagreements with us...
Stephannie often thought of us as controlling obsessive and authoritive parents...we choose to think of us caring and providing for the best of her interests.

We grew thru those months of care...we earned eachothers trust and gave trust to one another.  Only to find out that one was not honest with themself or the others...our guilt as parents- not seeing, not knowing or even believing that 
Steph's  pain was unbearable.  

Now we question who's pain is more unbearable
to live . This pain of grief of loosing a child
does not compare to any pains a child may have while existing 
on this earth.

The true meaning of unconditional Love...
We gave her birth...and we found her in
We as parents were in a state of denial that our daughter would surcomb to this disease or become a statistic.
If love were the issue...Stephannie would be here today.

It's black and black her white...her black us white.  Often, that's the
challange of this bipolar disease.  The lack of or the complete opposite polar ends of personality.

There are no words to describe a child's death-
for we are not child-less. Stephannie existed.
She will remain in our hearts, minds, and souls
until our last breath...and in those of others she
has touched along her life's journey.    

Please if you share a memory- tell us

This site is under construction
Tributes and Condolences
Faith...from my journal   / Stephannie From My Journal... (me-myself-I)
What's all of this for ,  what is our purpose, do we just go on walking aimlessly thru our day just wasting time?  There has to be something , some great force that pulls the universe together to make it work.  Here I am wanting a...  Continue >>
The Miracle Prayer   / Stephannie's Back Pack Prayer...
This was found in Stephannie's back pack as well as an AA prayerbook and a ceramic angel...Lord Jesus, I come before you, just as I am.  I am sorry for my sins, I repent of my sins.  Please forgive me.  In your name I forgive all other...  Continue >>
Remembering September 2004   / Mum (Mum)
september damned september leaves fall from the trees flowers fade and droop and wilt memories zip through without warning sweet memories bring smiles sad memories bring tears dark memories linger leading to darker thoughts plunging me in th...  Continue >>
Mom's birthday   / Debbie Polidora (Angel Mom )
Dearest Stephannie,

Mom had a birthday yesterday.....another one without you.....sigh. I hope you sent her a sign that you were with her yesterday on her special day and always.  She misses you more than you could ever imagine and lov...  Continue >>
A sower went to sow some seeds...   / Brian Bibbo (Friend)
I met Steph in 2002 as a freshman at Penn State Altoona.  At the time my major extra-curricular activity was theater; I first encountered this extraordinary person during our production of Godspell (I was the a...  Continue >>
steph / Alisha (friends and temporary lil sister )    Read >>
I miss my friend  / Megan Patton (Jr. High/HS Classmate )    Read >>
You are greatly missed <3  / Christina Ottmar (Sorority Sister )    Read >>
I miss her................  / Lisa K. (sorority sister )    Read >>
Two Angels  / Jean Cornell (From POS )    Read >>
Your Beautiful Stephannie  / Becky     Read >>
consolation / Don Emmal (mentally ill too )    Read >>
dance and play with the angels.  / Kate Borau (friend POS )    Read >>
Stephanie and Christina  / Donna Mother Of Christina Ann Valle     Read >>
A little note about steph  / Lisa Yost (sorority sitster )    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
Stephannie's Photo Album
Placed on her honor stone by sorority sisters...we'd never seen before.
Jump To:
Go to Album >> Open full-screen Slideshow >>