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John D. Radewald

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John D. Radewald Obituary
JOHN D. RADEWALD Many times John said he would live to be 100 years old. Sadly he had yet to reach his 85th birthday when he passed over, due to natural causes, at his home in Moreno Valley, CA. He was born in Niles, MI, the son of Fred C. and Rena (Cast) Radewald, both of whom predeceased John. His only sibling was the late Helen (Radewald) Schafer of Tempe, AZ. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Bette (Miller) Radewald; his son Kirk Radewald (sons Konnor and Kort) of Phelan, CA, and daughter Myra B. (Radewald) Williamson (daughter Keleigh) of Valley Center, CA. Nothing in John's opinion could compare to the mellow joy found in time spent with family. And absolutely nothing could top a grandchild's hug. John grew up helping out the family fruit farm. This meant not only day to day cultivation chores but also selling bags of fruit from his father's truck, door to door, to the housewives of Chicago. His more formal education included a one room school before graduation from Niles (MI) High School with letters in baseball, basketball, and football. He received his Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, his Master's degree from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, and his Doctorate (1959) from the University of California, Davis, in nematology. Later he added an AA from the California State University, San Bernardino, CA, in substance abuse counseling. During his two years in U.S. Army (1953-1955) he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, with Corps of Engineers. After receiving his PhD John accepted a position with Pineapple Research Institute of Hawaii. In 1962 he returned to "the big island" to serve as USDA Nematologist at UC Riverside. He so enjoyed his work and the people it brought him into contact with that he claimed he had "the best paid hobby in the world." He gained himself international recognition for innovative field research in nematology. He published hundreds of papers. Officially retired in 1991 he continued to perform field nematology research as a consultant in the United States and abroad. In 1978 John and family moved into their home on Pigeon Pass Road. This six acre farm was for some years Cut-Your-Own-Christmas-Tree operation. Later the space gave John room to grow vegetables for the enjoyment of family and friends. Once or twice a year, with or without family along, he loved to fish in a particular Canadian lake. He enjoyed the companionship and competition of a monthly poker group. For years John collected and restored tractors; at one time he admitted to owning twenty-one. He and Bette traveled in the United States and Great Britain. Yet probably his greatest hobby was people. The term "he never met a stranger" seemed to have been coined with him in mind. Marilou Aguino, care giver, and Charter Hospice earned the family's gratitude for the difference they made in John's daily life. Also highly appreciated were the many visits, calls, and emails of support from his legion friends. Interment will be private in the Riverside National Cemetery. A celebration of John's life will be held January 11, at 1:00p.m., Miller-Jones Moreno Valley Mortuary & Crematory, 23618 Sunnymead Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA.. Attendees are not required to wear black clothing. All are encouraged to wear John's day uniform: a tee-shirt and blue jeans. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Salvation Army.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 8, 2014
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