William “Bill” L. Radke, age 87, of Beaver Dam, died on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at the Tomah Veterans Hospital.
The visitation for Bill will be on Monday, January 26, 2009 at the Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. The American Legion is invited to walk through at 6:00 PM. There will also be a visitation for Bill on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at the funeral home from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM. The funeral service will follow on Tuesday at 11:00 AM with Chaplain John Burgbacher officiating. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens, Town of Trenton, Dodge County, Wisconsin with military honors provided by the John E. Miller American Legion Post #146.
William Louis Radke was born April 8, 1921, in Randolph, WI to Frederick and Julia (Mueller) Radke. Bill enlisted in the US Army”s 118th Combat Engineer”s 43rd Division during World War II, from 1942 to 1945. He was stationed in New Zealand for six months before being shipped out for duty in the Guadalcanal, New Guinea and the Luzon Philippines where he was wounded from motor shell shrapnel, as they were making their invasion. While in the hospital he was told he”d probably never walk again, but with determination he not only was able to walk, he continued to walk everyday of his life until he no longer could. Bill received the Purple Heart, three Battle Stars, the Philippine Ribbon and also the South Pacific Ribbon.
Upon Bills return to Wisconsin, he set out walking to his sister”s home when a kind man stopped to give him a ride. It was then, when also in that car, was the woman he would marry, Gladys Augusta Rose Rosenthal. They married on August 1, 1946 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Columbus and lived on a farm before going to Portland Oregon for a short time after realizing how much they missed Wisconsin and came back home.
William and Gladys were blessed with two daughters, Teresa (Juan) Deleon, Lisa (Thomas) Hatzinger, five grandchildren, John Deleon, Eric “Jelly” Deleon, Teresa (Chris) Janusz, Jessica Hatzinger, and Kristen Hatzinger, and two great grandchildren, Calista and Breanna Janusz all of Beaver Dam. Bill is also survived by his brother Elmer “Nick” Mixell of Iowa, special friends, Jerry and Donna Priewe, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, four sisters, three brothers and one infant twin brother.
Bill was a member of the DAV and the Beaver Dam American Legion. During Bills younger years he was an amateur boxer and was quite good having won all of his bouts, but his dream of going pro was brought to an end due to his service disabilities. He was also a good baker which not many people knew about, but most of all it was the love of the farm life that he and his wife Gladys shared for the rest of their lives.
The Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. Online condolences may be made on our website at www.MurrayFH.com.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, 11:00am
Highland Memory Gardens-Beaver Dam