Gary was born on June 8, 1943, in the Township of Lebanon, the son of Royal and Anna (Brennstuhl) Raddatz. In 1961, the day after graduating from Bear Creek High School, Gary enlisted and left home for the U.S. Army. He served one tour of duty in Germany being honorably discharged in 1964. Following his return home from the military, Gary married Geraldine Samson on August 31, 1968 at Grace Lutheran Church, Sugar Bush. They celebrated 49 years of marriage together. Gary was employed by Hillshire Farms his entire working career while also owning and operating the family “hobby” farm. Following his retirement, Gary continued to raise chickens and peacocks, always had a dog by his side, and continued to insist that pygmy goats were the cutest babies born on the farm. Gary enjoyed playing cards frequently, gambling occasionally, dancing and listening to polka music, shooting pool, bowling, swimming and socializing with his neighbors at the New London Pool, farming, and hunting.
Gary is survived by his wife, Geraldine “Gerry” Raddatz; children, Jody (Nikki) Raddatz, Jim Raddatz, and Julie (fiancé Christopher Gustavus) Raddatz; brothers, Rev. Ronald (Barb) Raddatz and Steve (Sharon) Raddatz; sisters, Joyce (Lee) Bressler, Cheryl (Jim) Molenda, Cindy (Bob) Buschkopf, and Patty (Jim) Rooyakkers. He is further survived by his brothers-in-law, Hugh Samson, Kenny (Pam) Samson, and Francis Samson; sisters-in-law, Ruth Hoffman, Betty (Don) Moravec, Pearl Steffen, Judy Samson, Dianne Stronach, Blanch (Tom) Pryor and Christy Samson; special cousin, Beth Schlomann; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Gary will be sadly missed by his pals, Peanut, Reba and Abbey. Gary is preceded in death by his parents; son, Dominic; brother, LeRoy Raddatz; and father and mother in-law, Frank and Magdaline Samson.
The memorial service for Gary will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 12, 2018 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, New London with Rev. Marcus Schulz officiating. Family and friends are welcomed to visit at Cline & Hanson Funeral Home, New London on Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and again directly at the church Monday morning from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be in Ruckdashel Cemetery, Sugar Bush. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established. The Cline & Hanson Funeral Home in New London is serving the family. www.clinehansonfuneralhome.com
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital for the phenomenal care they provided Gary and the family during his stay there. They would also like to recognize daughter in-law, Nikki Raddatz for the calm and peace she provided Gary during his final days.