James Radtke (1939 - 2013)

Obituary
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Radtke, James D.

James D. Radtke, age 73 of Sheboygan Falls, passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at his home with his loving family beside him.

Jim was born on October 2, 1939 in Sheboygan a son of the late Fredrick and Mary (Kudirko) Radtke. Jim attended Sheridan School and graduated from Sheboygan Central High School in 1958. Jim continued his education throughout his professional career as Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Sheboygan. On May 9, 1959 Jim was united in marriage to Virginia Hoppe at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Jim and Virginia were the proud parents of 5 children, 10 grandchildren and 2 step grandchildren.

Jim's compassion for law enforcement began in 1952-1953, while attending Sheridan Grade school, receiving a Merit Award from the Sheboygan Police Department for Safety Patrol, and serving as a playground supervisor. Jim was sworn in to the Sheboygan Police Dept. in 1965 and graduated from Police Recruit School at Lakeshore Tech Institute in 1974. He started as a Patrol man, worked his way up the ranks to Detective, Lt of Detectives, Inspector of Criminal Investigation Division and retired as Deputy Chief of Police in 1995. While on the Sheboygan Police Department Jim attended U W Sheboygan, W.P.P.A Collective Bargaining Institute, Lakeshore Tech Defensive Driving Program, and was involved with the Safety Alcohol Action Program. Jim graduated for the F.B.I. National Academy in 1985 and attended many criminal investigation training schools, including Death Investigation, Interrogation Training, Criminal Law and Rape Investigation. Jim attended Keeler Polygraph Institute and was a polygraph examiner for the Sheboygan Police Dept. He was a state-certified instructor for Lakeshore Technical College, and an instructor for the Sheboygan Police Department's In-Service Training School. Jim was Supervisor of the Drug Investigation Officers assigned to the Sheboygan Sheriffs Department. He was a member of the Police diving team. He felt it was important that the Police Dept. have a canine unit and raised money to fund the unit by giving talks to service groups and businesses. While on the Department he served on the Board of Directors for The Abode and Big Brothers and Sisters Organization.

Before joining the police department, Jim worked for the Vollrath Co, and various construction companies, including Vinton Construction Co., Stockel Construction Co. and Mertes Construction Co. After doing concrete work part-time while on the Police Department, he decided to form J & R Ventures with his long time friend Roger Hofschild. Jim was also known for Jim's Unique Clocks.

In retirement Jim and Virginia enjoyed their winters in Florida playing golf where he finally made a hole in one. They enjoyed traveling with close friends and taking trips to Ireland, Hawaii, Germany, France, Italy and Alaska. Jim's passion was golfing, and after retirement worked at Black Wolf Run in Kohler as beverage coordinator. He especially enjoyed the benefit of playing golf at Black Wolf and Whistling Straits. He will always be remembered for the Annual Corn Roasts held every Labor Day weekend in the couple's back yard starting in 1969 and continues to be hosted by the kids. It always concluded with everyone sitting around the bon-fire listening and laughing to police related stories and other tales. Other activities he enjoyed were annual hunting and fishing trips with his sons and friends. He could be seen every morning at McDonald's doing the crossword puzzle and having coffee with his morning friends where they solved the world's problems.

He was a member of the U.S. National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Jim was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Our Lady of the Rosary Council 722 and the Msgr. Philip Dreiss Assembly, serving as the Faithful Navigator of the Fourth Degree, served on the Institute Board, many other committees and received the Family of the Month Award

Jim is survived by his wife, Virginia; four children, Daniel (Anne) Radtke of LaCrosse, Lisa (Fred) Schmidt of Sheboygan, Jeffrey (Theresa) Radtke of Gibbsville and Dennis Radtke (special friend, Maria) of Sheboygan; ten grandchildren, Nicolas Radtke, Alexander Radtke, Jacob Schmidt, Madeline Radtke, Mitchell Radtke, Emily Schmidt, Elizabeth Schmidt, Virginia Radtke, Violet Radtke and Truman Radtke; two step grandchildren, Ryan Lastusky and Allyson Lastusky; his brothers, Thomas (Bonnie) Radtke and Terry (Helene) Radtke, both of Sheboygan and Robert (Carol) Radtke of Plymouth; his sisters, Shirley (Jack) Wall and Carol (John) Damrow, both of Sheboygan; his brothers-in-law, Karl (Janice) Hoppe of Fond du Lac and Ervin (Judy) Hoppe of Anchorage, AK; his sisters-in-law, JoAnn (Mike) Austreng of Cleveland, Gloria (Tom) Kanzelberger of Plymouth, Janice Krueger of Manitowoc and Susan Ebert of Florida. Many nieces, nephews and other family members also survive. In addition to his parents an infant son, James Lester and a sister Nancy Frei preceded him in death.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 4 p.m., Thursday, January, 24 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church with Rev. James Connell as celebrant. Burial will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery. Family and friends may gather at the church, 818 Huron Ave. on Thursday from 1 p.m. until the time of Mass at 4 p.m.

A memorial fund has been established in Jim's name.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Sharon S. Richardson Hospice Care Team for their gentle kindness and support. We also very grateful for all of the prayers, thoughtfulness and well wishes from family and friends.

The Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home is serving the family.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.reinboldfh.com

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Published in Sheboygan Press on Jan. 22, 2013
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