Lester Allan Radke (1936-2012)

Thursday June 14, 2012 - 04:31:00 PM
Lester Allan Radke (1936-2012)
Lester Allan Radke (1936-2012)

Les Radke died suddenly on the evening of Saturday, April 21st. Les’s interests and involvements spanned the world. He had a strong belief in the power of friendship and solidarity exemplified by his unusual ability to bring people together. Les was a small town kid from Sheboygan, Wisconsin who stepped out to engage the world in all its complexity and diversity. He was passionate about justice and equality. His lifelong commitment to a socially just world, and his generosity are well known to anyone who ever came in contact with him. 

Les was a teacher at Richmond High for 25 years. He retired in the late 90s. He had a long relationship with Russia, as a frequent visitor, tour guide and teacher. That is where he met his wife Yulia. 

As a member of Californians for Electoral Reform, Les fought to institute a system of proportional representational to replace the winner-take-all election method we currently utilize in the U.S. In 2001 he helped write the revised bylaws for The Pacifica Foundation, with particular emphasis on the section concerning Local Station Board elections. He was a Local Election Supervisor at KPFA in 2003, and National Election Supervisor for Pacifica in 2006 and 2009. 

Les is survived by his wife Yulia Solovieva, who teaches at a middle school in Richmond, two step-sons, Greg Strom of El Cerrito, and John Sims of San Diego, two grandchildren, Simone Lynn and Soraya Jazmin Sims, two step-sisters, Jan Riordan of Kansas and Joan Gerhart of South Carolina, and his step-brother Steve Brick of Wisconsin, as well as many friends around the country and around the world. 

Family and friends have planned a memorial on June 23rd, from 3-6 pm, at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, C. 

Another memorial will be held for his greater Wisconsin family on July 29th and a third memorial will be held in Moscow, for his Russian friends and family. 

Donations can be sent to: 

1) Coalition for a democratic Pacifica (CDP) – A KPFA listener activist group that Les helped to create 13 years ago. Box 9094, Berkeley, CA 94709 

2) The EdFund - A fund that provides grants for educators. The Ed Fund West 217C W. Richmond Ave., Richmond, CA 94801 

n lieu of cut flowers, please bring potted fruit trees, birch trees, lavender or other perennial plants. Les’ wife, Yulia plans to create a memorial garden in Les’ memory on a vacant lot near their home in El Sobrante. 

Please visit the website for Les Radke, to share your memories of Les, and to read what others have said about him. Website address is: 

For more information about the June memorial please contact Chandra Hauptman: