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Robert Radke 02/13/2022

Robert Radke of River Falls, age 71, died on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.  Bob was born on March 30, 1950 to Ray and June (Leseman) Radke of Prescott, Wisconsin.  He was a graduate of Prescott High School, class of 1968, and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he received his degree in Sociology and Political Science.  He later achieved a teaching degree in Broad Field Social Studies and went on to a teaching career spanning over 25 years, the majority of which he spent in the New Richmond, Wisconsin School District teaching 7th and 8th grade.

In 1971 he married Patricia Huppert.  Together they had 3 children.  Except for 2 years, they have resided their entire married lives in River Falls.

Bob was an extremely passionate teacher during his career and beyond.  Many of his former students will recall the summer field trips which he led to the Black Hills, Northern Minnesota and Canada, giving them a truly unique and unforgettable learning experience.

Bob was a devoted husband and father.  He enjoyed being with his family and doing things as a family.  Camping trips were common in the summer and fall months when the family was young.   He had a great interest in history, especially the major wars and the Great Plains Conflict.  He could be perceived as stern and unpredictable, but those who knew him well knew he had a heart of gold, and the quirkiest sense of humor ever.

Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughter, Nicole (Robert) Pizza; son, Brandon; grandchildren, Antonia and Henry Pizza; and brother, Richard.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and June; and son, Christopher.

The family is most appreciative of all the prayers and support during this difficult time.  A Memorial fund has been established to assist the family in covering medical expenses incurred during Bob’s illness.  Please direct any donations to St. Lawrence’s Treasure, 1027 Medlin Drive, Cary, NC 27511.  This is a nonprofit charity established by brother-in-law Deacon David Wulff.  Donations may also be made through VENMO, David-Wulff-2.

A private family memorial service was held followed by a Celebration of Life on Friday, February 25, 2022 from 1:30-5PM at the Carpenter Nature Center Flint Hills Trailside Lodge & Conference Center (12308-12500 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033). Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

A recording of Robert’s service will be available



  • Richard & Joy Forrest Posted February 14, 2022 7:30 pm

    My children thought you were the best teacher during their middle school years. I always enjoyed having a great discussion with you. Bob, I had the delight of being your teacher assistant. You were the best to work with & the students loved Mr. Radke. Our family is saddened to know of your passing..

  • Chris Dalton Posted February 15, 2022 5:33 pm

    Rest In Peace, Mr. Radke. He was my teacher in the 7th grade, and I adored his ‘tough-love style.’ I went on to teach personal training & dance, with my own company after college. I, too, always and will always embody the tough-love approach to my ‘students’ or clients. His passion for his work stood out, as well. I was just sharing a story of being in his class, after I heard. One of the greats! I’ll never forget. Thanks, again, Mr. Radke; and I hope your friends/family find comfort in sharing fond memories as well.

  • Sarah OG Posted February 16, 2022 10:23 am

    My deepest sympathies to your family. I enjoyed reconnecting on FB with you if only in passing now as an adult. You were one of the good ones.

  • Fred & Yvonne Benson Posted February 17, 2022 6:51 am

    Dear Pat & Family,
    We had no idea Bob was sick. You have our deepest sympathies in loosing Bob. He was quite the guy. His dry sense of humor and his dedication to teaching was immeasurable. He loved talking about family and his work. He will be missed. Sending you our love & prayers. Love, Fred & Yvonne

  • Dave and Linda Wulff Posted February 17, 2022 8:29 am

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  • Danica Posted February 17, 2022 11:38 am

    So sorry to hear about the passing of the quirky middle school history teacher whom we all loved, he will be dearly missed by the community. He positively impacted many of his student well after we left his classroom.

  • Sandy Sievert Posted February 17, 2022 11:42 am

    You are so missed!!! I pray you see all the tributes in your honor and hoe you were loved by so many. I so thoroughly chatting with you on FB. My deepest sympathies to your family, as I know of the grief they are having. Oh, the joy you brought them.

  • Rita Keating Posted February 17, 2022 12:34 pm

    Wonderful teacher to my three children and great coworker. I have enjoyed keeping up with Bob through FB. Totally enjoyed his humor and his political knowledge. He will be missed by many.

  • Connie Kastner Posted February 17, 2022 2:14 pm

    Please accept our condolences in the passing of Bob. He was a passionate person and will be deeply missed.

  • Anna Owens Posted February 17, 2022 3:07 pm

    Bob left a lasting impression on me, in fact he is one of the people who made a giant difference in how my life played out. I am forever appreciative and thankful. Please know you are all in my heart and I hope you find your way through this tough time of loss.

  • Peter & Cheryl Boetcher Posted February 17, 2022 4:03 pm

    Bob was an extraordinary and passionate teacher. Two of our children had him as their Social Studies teacher. They are as saddened by this news as we are. They also attended the South Dakota camping trip arranged by Bob, to Custer State Park. Numerous other groups of NRMS students were lucky to have this experience thanks to Bob’s planning.& preparation over the years. Thank you Mr. Radke.

  • Debra Gray (McGowan) Posted February 17, 2022 4:45 pm

    Bob was a wonderful coworker. He cared so deeply about everyone around him, and always watched out for all of us. I often joked with him that if I ever got on Hoe to be a Millionaire, he would be my phone a fr>end because he was the smartest person I knew. I sat on the couch crying today when I read his obituary. He leaves a hole that will not be filled. His sense of humor made us laugh, and his teaching abilities were the best. My heart goes out to you!

  • Steve S Posted February 17, 2022 5:21 pm

    I was fortunate to be a student of Mr Radke’s. He was so passionate about teaching. His class was always engaging. School was drudgery, but I would look forward to his class. He realized that teaching truth and critical thinking to young people was an important step in making the world a better place. I wish all educators could maintain that drive, that fire for sculpting a better world. I wish I had known him better. Rest in power, Mr. Robert Radke ☮️✊️

  • Mary Riley Shafer Posted February 17, 2022 6:08 pm

    So sorry for your loss Patsy. Bob was a great classmate. Always put a smile on my face. He will be missed. Could really crack a joke in class.

  • Kimberly Arrona Posted February 17, 2022 6:48 pm

    Rest In Peace Mr. Radke. Thank you for being an amazing (and stern) teacher. I will never forget the fun Black Hills trip and when you assigned me to research Skagerrak and Kattegat…I thought you were messing with me. Learned a lot.

  • Rachelle LaGree Posted February 17, 2022 8:32 pm

    I was his first student teacher and boy, did I hit the jackpot for a mentor! I was blessed to maintain a friendship over the years and he was always supportive and full of wit and wisdom. He was on my mind a lot lately. RIP Bob and thank you for always believing in me.
    My sympathies to your family and friends.

  • Sunny (Deb) Steinmetz Posted February 17, 2022 9:21 pm

    So sad to hear Bob was gone. Great classmate and great Facebook pal. Enjoyed his sense of humor very much. My condolences to his family.

  • Sarah Y Posted February 17, 2022 10:50 pm

    He will be missed. What a loss. Grateful our paths crossed. He left one hell of a legacy.

  • Orren King Posted February 17, 2022 11:13 pm

    Radke was the first teacher I ever had that made me truly care about what was being taught. He helpped me develope a curiosity and interest that still burns strong today. I am so sorry for your loss, he was truly one of the best people I have ever been graced with meeting

  • Jameen Lauck Posted February 18, 2022 10:30 am

    He was, by far, one of my favorite teachers. I enjoyed reconnecting with him on FB. I went on a trip to Canada with him and my classmates. He brought me to the hospital because my eye was swollen from an insect bite. Also, he was the only teacher that came to my high school graduation party. I am so sad to hear of his passing. May you find comfort and peace during this difficult time. Much love.

  • Richard Radke Posted February 18, 2022 11:22 am

    Good bye little brother, I will miss our discussions on World War II. R I P. Dad d Mom will be waiting along with Chris

  • Nicole Pizza Posted February 18, 2022 4:53 pm

    Daddy, just missing you so much this week. Henry is heartbroken, really heartbroken. Anie has guilt about not seeing you one more time. It’s hard. Bob and I are doing our best. We know you’re still keeping an eye on things. Hope you’re enjoying cigars with Chris. Has he introduced you to Warren, John, George yet? Have fun! You deserve it.

  • Mary Hubbell Posted February 18, 2022 5:30 pm

    Bob was an intrepid guy; he taught my son Ozzie in Middle School, and still wanted to be my friend on Facebook, despite the possibility mother and son had the same sense of humor. Accepting that friend request was a gift to myself. I really enjoyed Bob’s history lessons and political discussions on Facebook, and I’m so glad I got to know him through that medium. We shared very similar tastes in music and I appreciated that, as well. My sympathies to his “child bride” (I loved that nickname!) and family. May the happy memories you surely have dim the sad memories of saying goodbye. Say hi to Ozzie for me, Bob.

  • David Wittig Posted February 19, 2022 12:03 pm

    Patsy and family, Bob’s passing is sad news to have heard of. Having worked with him at Lund’s, was quite the experience! Many memories of then and after. May you all remember the blessings and be comforted always.

  • Elizabeth Knutson Posted February 19, 2022 12:47 pm

    I worked with Bob at New Richmond Middle School. I so enjoyed him and his thrill of teaching. LOVED his sense of humor. He sure made learning a fun thing for so many kids. RIP, Bob.

  • Tari and Eric Harris Posted February 19, 2022 6:34 pm

    Nikki and family, we are so sorry to hear about your Dad. Sending all of our love to you and your family. Please let us know if we can help out in any way. Love you!

  • Kym Wright Posted February 19, 2022 8:03 pm

    I’ll always remember talking politics in the MS halls between classes and the stream of consciousness emails that ended with an after school “book club” at the Old Saloon. Rest In Peace, Dear One. Your light was so bright.

  • Greg Kier Posted February 21, 2022 10:03 am

    Bob will be missed. He was a real character who brought true passion to education.

  • Sue Peterson Posted February 21, 2022 11:59 am

    Our family will miss all his , what we now call, ‘Bobism’s’. Bobby, you truly were one of a kind, and you will never be forgotten!

  • Bill Leahy Posted February 22, 2022 12:15 pm

    I cannot believe Bob is gone. My deepest sympathy to Patsy and the entire family. It was my pleasure to work with Bob at New Richmond middle school and to also travel with him to the Dakotas, the north shore, and Canada on several summer school trips. Bob was so intelligent, so knowledgeable, and so quick-witted. One of his favorite ploys during our conversations was to use a word that he was sure was not in my vocabulary. At first I’d pretend I knew it but when I came clean that I had no clue he would grin like a Cheshire Cat under that thick mustache and giggle just a little knowing he was one up on me. Bob will never be forgotten.

  • Kathy Svoboda Posted February 23, 2022 11:47 pm

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing, Sending thoughts and prayers to Patsy and family.

  • Lisa Kleinschmidt Posted February 24, 2022 11:40 am

    Nikki I am so sorry for your loss. Your father actually taught my younger siblings! What a small world! Take care of yourself during this time.

  • Patricia Grans Posted February 24, 2022 7:26 pm

    Dear Pat, my heart breaks for you and your family. Sending hugs and love to you all. Peace and love. Pat G

  • Erin W Posted February 24, 2022 9:52 pm

    So sorry to hear of Mr. Radke’s passing. He was one of my favorite teachers. I think only me and one other student in that particular class got his jokes and “older” movie references. I remember the proud smirk he’d give us! He was such a neat guy. My deepest condolences to the family.

  • Nicole Pizza Posted July 4, 2022 1:49 pm

    Thinking of you today, Dadoo. Sending out a history lesson for you via email.
    Happy 4th of July.

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