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John Tradup

John Tradup, aged 80, of Willmar, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at his home while on hospice.

Services will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 15, with Pastor Dean Johnson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior, with interment at Cloverleaf Memorial Cemetery following the service. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home.

John Tradup was born July 1, 1934 in Faribault, Minnesota to Irene and Paul Tradup. He graduated from Faribault High School in 1952. Following graduation, John joined the U.S. Navy where he worked at the Federal Office Building in San Francisco and served aboard the USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5). He was honorably discharged in 1956, and moved to Kenyon, Minnesota, where he married Joan Hofdahl. He went on to hold posts with regional newspapers in Missouri, Florida and Connecticut. He later returned to Kenyon and served with the Public Utilities Commission and as the Deputy City Clerk. John would move on to Renville where he was the editor and advertising manager for the Renville Star Farmer Newspaper. He relocated to Willmar in 1966, and in 1974, married Fern (Lush) Lehrke. In Willmar, John worked as a reporter, photographer, and, eventually, managing editor for the West Central Tribune until 1982. He then worked as manager of the Kandi Mall, then as a leasing representative for Bramalea, Ltd. in North and South Dakota, and then as a local franchise owner. He retired in 2000.

John was always highly involved in civic and community activities. He was a member of the Willmar Jaycees and volunteer for United Way, earning numerous awards and being selected to appear in the 1970 edition of Outstanding Young Men of America. He served as a board member of Crime Stoppers for 37 years, honored in 2011 for his service to the organization. He also was a member of the American Legion for more than 50 years. John also volunteered his time with Rice Hospice and the Senior Transport Program.

John will be remembered for his extensive work with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, where he was a member of the Willmar Aerie 2334 for more than 40 years. Recognition includes Eagles' 1980 State Secretary of the Year, 1978-79 Eagle of the Year, and District Eagle of the Year. John was also active in baseball and softball. While stationed in California, he played with the local Navy and semi-pro baseball teams. He also played for several local Willmar men's softball leagues. John will especially be remembered for his ongoing journalistic efforts which spanned almost 70 years. He whole-heartedly believed "the pen was mightier than the sword," and was well-known for his West Central Tribune column "Around the Clock." He truly was an "around the clock" editor: even outside of formal work as a reporter, John continued his journalistic enthusiasm with countless letters to the editor, publishing right up to 2014.

John is survived by wife of 40 years, Fern, of Willmar; 6 children, Wanda Tradup of Roanoke, TX; Patty Tradup of Minneapolis, MN; Kim (Dave) (Lehrke) Schmidt of Rapid City, SD; Jay (Liz) Tradup of Las Vegas, NV; Nikki (Marshall) (Tradup) Fiscus of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; Angie Tradup of Willmar, MN; 3 grandchildren, Kayleigh Schmidt of Rapid City, SD; Haydon Schmidt of Rapid City, SD; Jesse Tradup of Las Vegas, NV; Siblings, Ann (Tradup) Hanson of Alexandria, MN; Paul Tradup of White Bear Lake, MN; Larry Tradup of Chicago. John was preceded in death by parents Paul Tradup, Irene (Pete) Schafflhuber; and sister, Sue Christianson.

Cemetery Details

Cloverleaf Memorial Park Cemetery
3003 8th Avenue NE
Willmar, MN, 56201


JUN 15. 09:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Calvary Lutheran Church

302 Olena Avenue SE

Willmar, MN, US, 56201



JUN 15. 10:30 AM

Calvary Lutheran Church

302 Olena Avenue SE

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Tradup, please visit our flower store.


I am so sorry to hear of John's passing.....John hired me as the Tribune staff photographer in May of 1968, He taught this greenhorn with a photgraphic eye the ropes of the newspaper business. We were a great team, covering all the news that happened in West Central Minnesota....Over the ten years I was on staff we became great friends and kept in contact over the years...Blessings and strength to all of John's family..Mike Gunter, Eagle, Colorado.

Mike Gunter - June 10, 2015 at 09:02 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

We have very similar memories. Thank you for sharing them, and thank you for stopping by. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Tradup Family - June 07, 2015 at 10:39 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I always loved hanging out in the basement and playing pool while John composed his latest and greatest letter to the editor or watched sports when we would come up to visit you guys. The entertainment value was pretty priceless. I will never forget his humorous methodology for keeping the cat off the pool table either. Fern and you girls took such good care of John and I know it had to be a huge comfort for him to have you there when he needed you so much. You have my heartfelt sympathy and continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Donna - June 05, 2015 at 07:32 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thank you Brandon. We appreciate your thoughts.~John Tradup family

Tradups - June 07, 2015 at 10:01 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I remeber meeting him several times at Cashwise as thats where I work and he was shopping anyways he was always really nice to me and he appreciated that I appreciated his navy service (as I said so) and he always said hello to me. its a sad day :(

Brandon - June 05, 2015 at 10:12 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Healing Tears - All White was purchased for the family of John Tradup.

June 06, 2015 at 08:29 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

My Soul Lives On Blanket was purchased for the family of John Tradup.

June 06, 2015 at 02:20 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Peace, Prayers & Blessings - Blue and White was purchased for the family of John Tradup.

June 07, 2015 at 04:20 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

1 file added to the album John

Tradup Family - June 07, 2015 at 10:46 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

The Tradup Family - June 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

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