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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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John W. Rader

Issue Date: March 29, 2018

John William Rader passed away on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at his home on Washington Island with his family beside him.

John was born on December 8, 1943 in Marinette WI to Doris and Ervin Rader. He grew up in Marinette, attended Trinity Elementary and Marinette High Schools. He attended the University of Wisconsin Madison, majoring in Political Science. He married his high school sweetheart, Jacquelyn (Vincent) and they were blessed with a wonderful son, Johnny.

During his college years, he worked in the State Senate as a page and worked with someone who would be an influence on his later life, a young law student, named Tommy Thompson.

After college, John worked for the Public Expenditure Survey, working on behalf of Wisconsin taxpayers. When Tommy Thompson became governor, he appointed John to several positions in the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR) and Department of Revenue. John later became the Deputy State Treasurer.

During those years, he served as a member or chair of many task forces and committees. These included the 1987 Property Tax Relief Commission, the Railroad Tax Committee, the TIF Reconstruction Committee, the Menominee County Task Force and the Revenue Sharing Committee.

He and Jackie discovered and fell in love with Washington Island in the late 1970s. They bought land in 1990 and dreamed about the home they would build there someday. In 2007 they fulfilled their dream and built their retirement house on the Island. John loved everything about the island and enjoyed hunting, fishing and being involved in the community. He loved the people and the sense of community of the island.

He took an active role at Trinity Lutheran Church, was president of the Washington Island Sportsman's Club, Treasurer of the Lions Club and served on many foundations and committees. He was a member of the Washington Island Town Board for two terms, before being elected as Town Chairman. It was a job he loved, because he loved this community.

John was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Marilyn. Also many aunts and uncles and cousins.

He is survived by his wife Jackie. They would have had their 55th anniversary in a few months. He is also survived by his son, Johnny, who he loved more than life itself; daughter-in-law, Christine who he loved like his own daughter and grandchildren, Jack Thomas and Erika Christine who meant the world to him. Also Josh the cat and the irascible Labrador, Kody.

John was a loving husband, always supportive and thoughtful. He was a family man. He coached his son's hockey team for fourteen years and attended every cross country and track meet. He also supported the island youth, including the softball team and the High School Trap Shooting group.

He was the "grandpa who could fix anything". He glued, rebuilt, constructed all kinds of things for his grandchildren including tree forts, zip lines and a complete playground for them. He is deeply missed and he was taken too soon, as he said "I still have things to complete and accomplish".

A Memorial Service will be held on Washington Island on Saturday, April 14th. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am with the service at 11:00 am, a lunch will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to Washington Island Community Health Program (WICHP)1765 Town Line Road, the Washington Island Foundation P.O. Box 68, or Trinity Lutheran Church, 1763 Town Line Road, Washington Island, WI 54246.


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