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On June 3, 2010, Leo C. "Lee" Rademaker
died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at age 86.
He had been preceded just a few months earlier by his beloved wife Dorothy, who passed away on October 6, 2009.
They had been happily married for 59 years and
brought up a son, Dr. Edward Rademaker,
and two daughters, Carol Wieck and Peggy Blose. Their surviving family includes nine grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Lee Rademaker      Lee and Dot were among the last survivors of our friends from the Fifties when we, too, were living in Fort Wayne. Lee, born in Louisville, Kentucky, had graduated from the Speed School of Engineering of the University of Kentucky, with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1945. He had joined General Electric's Dry-type Transformer Division in Fort Wayne shortly before I did in 1951. He spent the rest of his working life as a Senior Product Engineer at G.E. in Fort Wayne. He was awarded at least two patents for design innovations, in 1973 and 1985. In 1994 he received the Citizen Engineer Award from the Northern Indiana Professional Engineers' Society.

     Dot Coleman was born in Boston, Mass. in 1927. They were married in 1950 shortly before moving to Fort Wayne. They were both extremely active in social affairs.
Lee was a scoutmaster for many years, a member of Knights of Columbus, participated in the activities of the I.E.E.E. local chapter and the G.E.Engineers Club.
They were both very active members of the St. Joseph parish of the Catholic Church. Dot was a secretary of several church organizations.

     As newcomers to Fort Wayne we became close friends, going to Square Dances of the Newcomers' Club. Later we participated in nearly all the events of the Squares Club, a social group of G.E. employees.
Initially we were both renting, but as our families grew it became imperative to obtain more space. In 1955 I bought a 3/4 acre lot in a new development, Langford Oaks, two miles west of the city and in early 1956 started building a ranch style home. Shortly afterwards Lee also purchased a lot on a parallel street of the development and started building his own home. Ours were among the first half-dozen houses built in this development.

We became very close during these years, partying together, helping each other with various home construction and repair jobs. Lili and Dot shared recipes. Lee bought a second car, and we usually drove together to work in his burgundy colored old Ford. In winter, when it was cold enough, I flooded the low lying area at the bottom of our lot and we and our children skated on it. Lee and Dot were God-parents for our youngest daughter Eileen.
However, in 1959 I took a new job with a company in Chicago. Over the years we continued to maintain close contact, and several times Lili and I stayed with Lee and Dot for brief visits in Fort Wayne. They were our valued friends, we miss them.

Memories of happier days

Lake Michigan vacation 1955

1957-Skating rink, Lee's house in background

1957-New Year's Eve in Biega house

1958 New Year's Eve in Rademaker house

January 1959 - Lee & Dot Godparents of Eileen Biega

Christening of Eileen, St. Joseph's Church
To see full size, click on any of the above pictures

To read more about Fort Wayne in the Fifties, go to the extract from "Thirteen is My Lucky Number".

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Last updated: July 15 2010,.