John Tradup

July 1, 1934 ~ June 4, 2015 (age 80)
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

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