Conrad Charles Gaedtke, 63, loving husband, father, grandfather and dear friend to many, died peacefully at 7:37 p.m. on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at his home with his family gathered around following a heroic eighteen-month battle against cancer. His family is grateful to the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home for their compassionate care that allowed him comfort during his final days.
He was born on January 18, 1957 in Niles to Elmer R. and Barbara J. (Conrad) Gaedtke. He graduated from Niles High School in 1975. He was formerly employed by Precision Metal Fab, Inc. of Niles, then worked for 23 years at Lock Joint Tube in South Bend, Ind. He retired from Niles Chemical Paint (NCP Coatings) in Niles. In each of these shops he maintained the machinery, often custom fabricating necessary replacement parts. He has lived in Niles most of his life.
Conrad was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Gateway City Aerie #2094 in Niles. He enjoyed NASCAR and was a fan of the late driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and his son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Conrad had season tickets for many years to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. He enjoyed camping and going fishing on Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. He also loved snowmobiling trips with friends up North, riding his motorcycle and cheering on Michigan football. Most of all, he enjoyed being home in his garage.
He was ready to help anyone with any urgent need, never hesitating to go out of his way to fix or build something. He enjoyed entertaining friends and family in his garage and loved having bonfires.
He was preceded in death by his mother and by a brother, Christopher Gaedtke.
On June 16, 1993 in Niles he married Brenda Jean Reed, who he celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary with last year.
Surviving family includes his wife, Brenda, and children, Jayson (& Tracie) Gaedtke of Niles, Chad (& Bobbi) Gaedtke of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Conrad Gaedtke II of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Erika (& Jared Owens) Pickles of Niles; twelve grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; Conrad's father, Elmer Gaedtke; and sister, Cherie Dowling of Niles, along several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, followed immediately by a celebration of his life at the Niles Eagles, 34 Sycamore Street.
Contributions in memory of Conrad may be made to the Caring Circle Hospice at Home, 4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph, MI, 49085, https://http://www.spectrumhealthlakeland.org/caring-circle/hospice-at-home-cares/hospice-at-home-cares; or to the Niles Eagles Lodge. Online condolences may be left at:
Conrad was wholehearted about every task in life. This attitude was kicked-up to a new level, to fight for every day with his friends and family, in whom that passion continues.
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Caring Circle Hospice at Home
4025 Health Park Lane, Saint Joseph MI 49085
Fraternal Order of Eagles #2094
34 Sycamore Street, Niles MI 49120