Col. Richard A. Radtke, U.S. Army Retired, 86, of Highland, died on Sept. 23, 2012 at his residence. Born on April 20, 1926 in Oak Park, he graduated high school in 1944 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served with the 1st Marine Division in the Solomon Islands and took part in the invasion of Okinawa. At the end of the war, he served in North China for occupation duty and was discharged in September of 1946 as a Corporal.
He attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1950 with a B.S. in Industrial Management, attended ROTC, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. Infantry in the U.S. Army. In the early 1950s, he acquired his commercial pilot's license and in 1951 was called to active duty and served in Korea. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1977 and retired after 30 years of commissioned service.
After his military career, he worked for McDonnell & Miller ITT as senior industrial engineer, NI-TEC Inc. as plant industrial engineer, Playskool Inc. as corporate supervisor of quality control, Warwick Electronics as staff industrial engineer, Zenith Radio Corp. as supervisor industrial engineer, and Beltone Hearing Aid Co. as methods and time study supervisor.
At 62 he retired in Oak Park and was very active at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Forest Park. He was also a member of First Baptist Church, a member of the Retired Officers Association, Delta Sigma Pi, and the Oak Park-River Forest Association for the Retarded Services. He enjoyed and supported the symphony and the opera.
He and his wife traveled to Europe many times and enjoyed Alaskan cruises. He loved to fish in Minnesota and moved to Highland in 1992.
Richard Radtke is survived by his daughters, Ellen L. (William A.) Nettles, Annette L. Sczcesny, and Paula A. (James) McCabe; his grandchildren, William R. (Sarah) Nettles, Jonathan A. Nettles, Daniel J. Sczcesny, Meghan L. McCabe, Patrick James McCabe, and Nora R. McCabe; and his sister, June A. Hedberg. He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence L. Radtke (nee Foleno); his parents, Richard H. and Ethel M. Radtke (nee Berkland); and his sister, Ethel A. Bill.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Forest Park, with a private interment service on Monday, Oct. 8, at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to Disabled American Veterans; Wounded Warriors; St. Joseph Hospital Foundation; Highland Area Christian Service Ministry; or a church, synagogue or mosque of the donors choice. Arrangements are being handled by Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.