Charles Radke, 1932 – 2018

Charles (Chuck) Radke, age 86, was born October 7, 1932, in Sterling, IL, the only child of Gladys and Dillard Radke. He died October 12, 2018, in Jefferson.

Charles had a great passion for music. He majored in music at Drake University where he met his spouse of 64 years, Virginia Ann Lee, who shared a great love of music. Together they settled in Grand Junction and had three children: Ruthanne, Susan, and Steve.
Charles was the band director for East Greene Community Schools.
He taught private music lessons to hundreds of children over the years, including piano, clarinet, flute, oboe, and saxophone. He was the pianist in several community bands, orchestras, and jazz bands; the musical director for community theatrical productions; and the church organist at the First United Methodist Church in Grand Junction for more than  50 years. Well into his 80s, he continued to accompany students at music contests and on the stage of the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. His musical impact continues to inspire generations of families. He was also a dedicated member of the Grand Junction Lions Club.

Charles is survived by his wife Virginia Lee Radke; children Ruthanne (Jeffrey) Douglass, Susan Miller, and Steve (Cindy) Radke; grandchildren Steven Douglass, David Douglass, Peggy Hall, Brent Miller, and Sebastian Radke; and great-grandchildren Trenton and Lucas Hall.

A joint Celebration of Life will be held upon the death of  Virginia.

To continue their passion for music, memorial contributions can be made to the Charles and Virginia Radke Memorial Scholarship Fund and mailed to People’s Bank, c/o Charles and Virginia Radke Memorial Scholarship Fund, 205 Main Street E, Grand Junction IA 50107.

The family is assisted by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson, 515-386-2171.

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