California Health Care Facility (CHCF) reported the Oct. 4, 2017, passing of Pastor Lowell Laverne Rathe.

Rathe, born in 1925, was a WWII Army veteran.

He was a pastor with Foundation Ministries since 1978 and was ordained in 1985. He had a deep desire to share the Gospel within the prison walls so he started volunteering at the California Youth Authority in 1985 and at the California Women’s Facility in 1992.

He was the first volunteer at the California Health Care Facility (CHCF) where he began volunteering in 2013 and rarely missed his scheduled days.

At CHCF, the pastor visited and anointed inmates who were too sick to attend services and baptized many inmates.

“Pastor Lowell’s impact on CDCR’s inmate population, and on CDCR’s staff, cannot be put into words. He will be missed,” according to a notice sent to CHCF staff. “We thank Pastor Lowell’s wife and family for unselfishly sharing him with the staff and inmates of the various prison facilities.”

Chaplain Jason Cedarholm, Protestant Chaplain at CHCF, attended the Celebration of Life on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, and, at the request of the family, spoke at the burial, where he honored Pastor Rathe for his dedication to more than 32 years of service to CDCR’s inmates and staff.