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Raymond Norman Radtke
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Obituary for Raymond Norman Radtke

Ray Radtke passed gracefully into the next life Wednesday, March 7, 2018. He was 98.

He was proceeded in death by his beloved wife Rosie, who left Ray’s side in 2010.
His immediate surviving family: son Rayford; grandchildren : Bryan Radtke, Rachael Spradley, Leda Foreman, Lisa Marth, Leslie Thompson, Jimmy Schwall and Mona Wolaver; niece Joan (Michael ) Clark.

While Ray was the last family member of his generation, he still has surviving family in the Detroit, Michigan area, where he was born.

Ray lost his mother and was deserted by his father at a very early age. He was raised in a German American household of 14 by his Aunt Minnie (who lost her husband, Minnie’s
married name was Terteling) and his Uncle Ferdie (who lost his wife) Janaschek.

They, along with Ray’s mother and other aunts and uncles, arrived in America after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from Germany on a boat built by Ray’s grandfather, who had never sailed before!

He carried the family’s independent industrious and resourceful spirit, along with their Lutheran faith and knowledge of Germany,throughout his life. He started working nights while still in High School, and, after graduating, held a broad variety of jobs in the 1930’s, that provided him a basic understanding of a number of different industries.

In 1942 he joined the Army Air Corp and went off to war. He served primarily as radio operator on B17’s flying out of England. He survived numerous combat missions over Germany, including a flight with Curtis Lemay. His fluency in German saved the LeMay flight from a trap being set by the enemy. German pilots were flying captured B17’s but gave themselves away when Ray heard them talking to each other over their radios. General LeMay never forgot, and when the General was ordered back to the States, he made certain Ray was his radioman, giving Ray an early ticket home. His secondary, and secret roll, due to his fluency in German, was working on the ground with the resistance in German occupied France as part of a three man team. After a narrow escape from the Nazi’s, due to the teams assassination of lead SS officer, he was never sent back in.

Once back home, as part of his recovery from spending so much time in harm’s way, Aunt Minnie had Ray take up dancing. Soon he was teaching others as a professional dance instructor. However, for most of his working career, he had a positive impact on many, many lives through his management of occupational training centers for the handicapped, both in Michigan and, starting in the 1960’s, in Florida.

He spent his early post retirement years working for Ed Miller’s nursery, which fit well with his lifelong interest in gardening.

He stayed active in the Lutheran Church. Ray and Rosie helped start and were early members of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stuart, FL. He was also part of a small group that started the kindergarten and first grade school at Redeemer, which later grew to all eight grades.

A life of service. A sense of humor. A real character. He will be missed.

There will be a grave side service at All Saints Cemetery in Jensen Beach, at 11:00 am, Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Memorial donations can be made in Raymond's name to Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2450 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996. The family is asking not to receive flowers.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Raymond Norman Radtke, please visit our Tribute Store.

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11:00 AM
All Saints Cemetery

2303 NE Seaview Dr


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