Rodney James Radtke, 69, passed away on Saturday, July 2, 2022, lovingly supported by his family in his yearlong journey through cancer.

Rodney was born in Eau Claire on August 18, 1952, to Arthur and Delhia (Kumferman) Radtke. Rodney graduated from Altoona High School where he was a member of the golf team for three years. He continued to enjoy golf throughout his life. After graduation he was employed by American Motors Corp (AMC) in Kenosha, WI.

His adventurous spirit took him backpacking through Europe and to California. He left Wisconsin traveling west with a friend and arrived in El Portal, California, in April 1979. Shortly after arriving in El Portal, he began working for the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, the largest concession business in the national park system at that time. In 1980 he took a position with the National Park Service.

He married Jan Ball on the beach at Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco, in September 1981.

Rod had a great love of nature and the splendor of Yosemite National Park.

He enjoyed the solitude of the east side of the Sierras and backpacking in the high country with his beloved dogs Bayah and Ludie. In 2016 he returned to Eau Claire to be closer to family.

Rod will always be remembered for his infectious laugh, his love of sports, and being “cool, calm, and collected.” He will be greatly missed.

Rodney is survived by his siblings; Gene (Arlene) Radtke of De Pere, WI, twin sister Brenda Steinke of Eau Claire, Theresa (Ron) Erickson of Eau Claire, Art Radtke of Moses Lake, WA. Rodney is remembered by his nieces and nephew as fun-loving and kind; Jenni (Edgar) Bernal, Angie (George) Clausen, Dan (Shelba) Steinke, Ryan (Kristel Flick) Erickson, Jessica (Andrew) Pagel, and Andrea Radtke.

Rodney is preceded in death by his parents.

The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staffs of Mayo Clinic Health System, Inclusa, and Chippewa Valley Taxi.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 13, 2022, at Prince of Peace Covenant Church, S12605 State Road 37, Mondovi, WI. The visitation will begin at 11:00am with a 12:00pm memorial service. There will be a luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Yosemite Conservancy or Feed My People


  1. My condolences to the family. I fondly remember Rodney and Brenda from my childhood days at Altoona Public School. I’m so sorry to hear that Rodney suffered with cancer. Far too young to be gone.

  2. Dear Radtke Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of the death of your brother and our classmate Rodney.
    I remember the first day Rodney and Brenda attended school in Altoona; my over-friendly personality came to the forefront and everyone in our home room laughed about my not waiting for the new kids to settle in before making a play for Rodney. I think we were in the fourth grade, maybe. Brenda, Rodney and I remained friends all through school and Brenda and I beyond high school.
    I’m so glad that Rodney fulfilled many of his plans and dreams. He always struck me as being adventurous, funny and pretty much fearless. His story is uplifting. He made the world better for a lot of people through his work and his life. God bless you all.🙏❤️🙏

  3. My condolences to Gene, Brenda, Theresa, and Art for the recent loss of your brother. As you may remember, Rod and I were pretty good friends in high school. When I call to mind your brother way back then, here are some of my most vivid memories: Winter sledding at the former Hillcrest Golf Course, outings that once included Brenda; the two of us once pulling another classmate who had broken his leg back to town on a small toboggan; riding our bicycles up to the Co-op Shopping Center to buy chocolate stars on many Saturdays; hunting for lost golf balls at Hillcrest and selling them to golfers to earn spending money; wading up Otter Creek with pitchforks in search of carp; swimming above the Lake Altoona dam and spillway; sleeping outside to watch a summer meteor shower; forming a junior bowling team at Wagner’s with three other classmates; qualifying for and participating in the state junior bowling tournament held in Kenosha; teammates on the high school golf team at least two years and maybe three; lots of rounds of golf at Lake Hallie and Ojibwa; a few summer double feature movie nights at the old Stardust venue; helping Rod with his math homework during a common high school study hall; and catching a ride with him to and from our Class of ’70 graduation party held out in the boonies. Around me and the other guys, Rod had a quiet, mellow, playful, and unpretentious personality, and he was always a loyal, staunch, and dependable friend. After graduation, we went our separate ways and lost touch, as many high school classmates are apt to do, so I was really looking forward to catching up with him in 2020 at a 50-year class reunion, which unfortunately never materialized because of the global pandemic. I hope these memories of just one of Rod’s high school buddies bring you some measure of comfort as you ponder his life, and I trust that they prove that your beloved brother definitely had a circle of friends during his formative years who valued him and enjoyed being in his company.

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