Obituary of Ed Radtke
Edward August Radtke
November 26, 1938 to November 26, 2023
Gone but never forgotten. You will continue to live in our hearts and memories, reminding us of the love and joy that you brought into our lives.”
Ed was born in Renown, Saskatchewan the youngest of 8 children. Sadly Ed’s mother passed away when he was only two years old. He was raised in his younger years by his two older sisters Hilda and Irma. Irma is the only surviving sibling and someone very dear to Ed.
At the age of 12, Ed worked and boarded at a nearby farm while going to school. In his teens, he decided to make his own way in the world and travelled to BC where he worked with his brother, Irvin, on Vancouver Island. From there he ventured to Calgary where he met the love of his life and best friend. Ed and Marlene were married on August 15, 1959 and celebrated their 64th anniversary together this year.
Their first daughter, Judy, was born in Calgary in 1960 soon followed twin girls Denise and Bernice who were born in 1961. Dean, the youngest and a son they had hoped for was born in Quesnel in 1967.
An opportunity to work as an apprentice at the Cariboo Observer brought Ed and his family to the small town of Quesnel in 1965. Other jobs Ed held were at Weldwood Sawmill, as an independent logging contractor, and in later years as a camp cook on wildfires for the Forest Service.
Marlene, an experienced bank teller, found work at the Bank of Montreal and then the Toronto Dominion. Through work connections Ed and Marlene were welcomed into the community.
Ed being invited to play hockey and to curl Marlene to join bowling. Many long-time friendships were formed with families who had also moved to Quesnel and had no family. Gatherings were held over the years getting everyone together for some outdoor fun for Halloween or Christmas.
Ed and Marlene settled on a property on West Fraser Road where they raised their children. Ed liked to snow mobile, ski a little, hunt, and fish. Rumour has it that when Ed skied with a certain neighbourhood friend, they were often equipped with a wine skin filled with liquid encouragement to get them through their night ski.
FISHING and CAMPING….that was Ed’s passion. Ed’s boat was like a one man’s band, equipped with every gadget bought or created to make fishing easier. Marlene was most often his fishing companion which was very brave of her as she isn’t a swimmer. When you camped with Ed you knew exactly what to expect. You got the biggest fire, the tastiest prawns, and he often caught the most fish!
The first ‘family’ fishing trip was, of course, out to Fish Lake. Two adults and three young girls all squeezed into a very small camper and boat, but…everyone caught a fish. Ed’s three daughters were not thrilled with ‘dad’s’ fishing rule: you catch it, you clean it!
The first time Ed took the kids (9, 7 & 2) on a camping trip by himself was to a friend’s cabin on Tibbles Lake. Ed decided to try out his friend’s invention pulling kids behind the fishing boat on a toboggan; a plain old metal toboggan. The first attempt, the rope wasn’t tied high enough so under the water the three girls went. Ed convinced his daughters to try a second time and it was a success but the girls still weren’t that thrilled with the ride. All Marlene said was thank goodness the kids were wearing life jackets and took swimming lessons.
Ed had wonderful memories of fishing trips with family and friends at Marmot Lake, Barnes Lake, Loon Lake, and lakes in the 100 Mile area. His fondest memories were taking his grandson out camping where they fished by day and watched Disney videos at night.
Ed and Marlene never missed a Radtke Family Reunion. Everyone had fond memories of Uncle Eddie telling his fishing and camping stories around the campfire or inside the comfort of the RV. You always felt at home in his company.
Whenever you needed something from Ed he would say, “It’ll cost you a loonie.” Strawberries no matter what time of year were always from his garden. Whether it was on the phone or at the door, Ed could be heard saying, ‘Come in, you’re out or Whattya want? Ed loved a good crib game always picking the red pegs, coffee at Tim Horton’s, and his KFC. Ed thoroughly enjoyed looking after Oscar and Cheekie (his grandpets) and watching the fish swim in their tank at home dreaming of bigger fish to fry.
In his early years, Ed was a very quiet man but after raising three daughters and a son and hanging out with a few ‘fun-loving’ relatives who shall remain nameless, Ed soon found his voice and his sense of humour.
Ed never let his health issues hold him back from enjoying time with family and friends. He and Marlene made sure they spent time with their four children and their partners. Ed especially loved being Grampa to Ben and Great Grampa to Cory, Jakob, and Ryley.
Ed had a kind and caring nature. His biggest supporter was his wife, Marlene, who never gave up on him no matter what. Both he and Marlene made everyone feel special and important in their lives.
Ed is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marlene, his daughter Judy Johannesen (Grant), daughter Bernice, daughter Denise Bacon (Robert), son Dean, grandson Ben (Brooklynn) and great grandchildren Cory, Jakob, and Ryley.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Quesnel medical staff who looked after Ed with care and compassion - Dr. Buys & Dr. Scheepers and the ER and ICU teams, the Ambulance Service, and especially Dr. Ali and Dr. Aziz who went above and beyond for Ed.
Thank you to Ed’s good friend and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Veselinovic, and her staff for taking exceptional care of him for over 20 years.
A small gathering of family and friends will be held in spring.
Donations can be made in Ed’s name to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.