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John J. Radde, 77

John James Radde, of Mayer, passed away at Emerald Crest of Victoria, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at age 77.

A private family memorial Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m., officiated by Fr. James Devorak, Friday, March 5 at Immaculate Conception Church in Watertown. The Mass will be livestreamed.

A public gathering of family and friends will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday prior to the Mass. Masks and social distancing will be required. Inurnment will be at Faith Rutz Cemetery, Mayer. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Arrangements are by the Iten’s Watertown Funeral Home.

John was born at Nagel Hospital in Waconia, April 15, 1943, to Fred W. and Helen A. (Picker) Radde Jr. He was baptized May 2, 1943, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Waconia. His father was in the United States Army, so John was three months old before he saw his father for the first time.

John grew up in Watertown, and attended grade school and two years of high school in the Watertown Public Schools. He completed his high school education at St. John’s Prep, Collegeville, and graduated in 1961.

He attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in business, and graduated in 1965. He taught classes at Minneapolis Business College until 1967. While a student at the University of Minnesota, he worked part-time at Audio Visual Education Service on campus where he met Gloria, who was employed as a receptionist/bookkeeper.

John and Gloria (Frion) were married at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, May 27, 1967.

He was drafted, but joined the United States Marines and left for basic training July 3, 1967. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. However, he received a back injury during basic training, and was hospitalized and in traction for several months at the U. S. Naval Hospital in San Diego. He received an honorable medical discharge April 8, 1968.

John returned to Minnesota, where he worked in the family business: Fred W. Radde and Sons, Auctioneers and Realtors.

John had a real estate and auctioneers license, and later obtained his Real Estate Broker’s license. He was a charter member of the Minneapolis Board of Realtors, plus he had memberships and designations in various other real estate organizations around the state.

John took over the process of printing The Agenda, which advertised the upcoming Radde auctions and real estate for sale. John also printed projects for schools, businesses, and political campaign publications, etc.

In 1969, John and Gloria purchased a farm southeast of Mayer, where they raised their five children. When on the farm he enjoyed gardening, planting trees, mowing, and working outdoors – especially if he could use the bobcat. He would always plant more than we could use, but he liked giving away garlic, pumpkins, and squash to friends.

John later operated his real estate business, Sons Company, in Watertown, until his retirement in 2014. He was a member of the Watertown Chamber of Commerce; and for many years, he enjoyed playing Santa at the Watertown Community Center.

He taught CCD religion classes at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Waconia. In 1986, he was on the Mayer Centennial Committee, and was instrumental in getting the Centennial Book printed.

When our children were members of the Mayer Riverside 4-H Club, John would help fry hamburgers in the 4-H food stand during our shift at the Carver County Fair.

Our teenagers liked to have John teach them to drive. He would sit unconcerned, and read or do paperwork while they drove him around.

Musical performances and plays were his favorite kind of entertainment.

He absolutely loved going to the Minnesota State Fair. His idea of a day at the fair was to be on the fairgrounds before 7 a.m. and stay until the fireworks went off ... which was around 10 p.m. Sometimes, just he and Gloria would go, but the best was if the family could join them. That tradition started before we all had cell phones, but somehow we managed not to lose anybody.

He loved his children and grandchildren, and watching their activities. Dad/grandpa had a big warm lap for snuggling on if you were still tired or didn’t feel good.

Our family likes to play board games and we really had a lot of laughs playing Trivial Pursuit when John seemed to be dozing in the recliner, but would suddenly blurt out the answer ... regardless of whose turn it was.

Unfortunately in 2014, our family began “the long goodbye,” as signs of dementia began to appear. Gloria cared for John until Nov. 9, 2020, when he entered a memory care facility: Emerald Crest of Victoria.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Fred W. (Pertz) Radde Jr. and Helen A. (Picker) Radde; grandparents, Fred W. Radde Sr. and Mary Radde and Charles and Edna Picker; plus many other aunts, uncles, and cousins; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Armond and June Frion, in-laws: Shirley and Benard Schoon, and Delpha and Leon Frion.

John is survived by his wife, Gloria; children, Christine, Carl, Cara, Jim, and Jason; grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – “Papa will be missed!” He’s also survived by two brothers, Fred W. (Phyllis) Radde III and their family, and Thomas J. (Rita) Radde; sister-in-law, Lois L. Johnson and her family; and many nieces and nephews.

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