Cover photo for Donald 'Don' Radloff's Obituary
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1931 Donald 2022

Donald 'Don' Radloff

August 21, 1931 — June 28, 2022

Donald Henry Radloff, age 90, of Merrill, WI passed away peacefully on June 28, 2022, at his home surrounded by family. Don was born August 21, 1931, in Merrill, WI to the late Florence (Helmstadter) and Alvin Radloff. He was baptized & confirmed at St. Stephens Church in Merrill.  Don went to grade school at the County Normal Teachers College in Merrill and graduated on June 2, 1949, from Merrill High School.

In 1950, Don joined the US Navy, was at basic training at Great Lakes and assigned to the USS Bryce Canyon (a destroyer tender ship) during the Korean War. He spent 2 years between Korea & Japan, the final 2 years stationed in Kodiak, AK as a 3rd class storekeeper and he was honorably discharged in July 1954. He received the Korean Service medal, National Defense medal and UN Service medal.

After returning home, he worked at the Krambo grocery store in Appleton before being transferred to the Wausau store (where he met his future wife).  On June 2, 1956, Don married Karen (Klug) at Trinity Lutheran church in Wausau – he later joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill.

Don worked at the Anson Gilkey factory in Merrill for 10 years and then went on to the Ward Paper Mill as a carpenter for 27 years retiring in 1993.  Karen and Don enjoyed camping for over 50 years in the Minocqua & Boulder Junction area – over the years they had several camping homes and met countless friends from both near and far. They liked to travel. They went on several bus trips to Nashville, Washington DC and Branson – also took Polka bus tours to Minnesota and Iowa – Don loved his polka music!  Family trips were taken by car as Karen would not fly anywhere – trips to CA, AZ, CO, NV, ND, SD, WY, UT, Mexico and Canada to name a few.

In his spare time, Don enjoyed woodworking – he made many items and would take those items to craft fairs to sell, along with making numerous items for family members (hall trees – doll beds & other projects). In his earlier years Don & his father remodeled the family home on Superior Street.

In 2009, Don made a trip with his son, Russ, to Washington DC as he figured he would never be able to go otherwise to see some of the war memorials.  But in 2013, he was sponsored by Waid Funeral Home to go on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which he was very proud to have been able to do, it was an experience of a lifetime – something which he spoke of often.  Don was a lifetime member of VFW Post 1638 in Merrill, he also served as quartermaster for several years and served with the firing squad.  When his son was younger, he coached little league for several years.  Both Karen and Don bowled in a couple’s league for many years.

Don is survived by his wife of 66 years: Karen Radloff of Merrill, daughter: Cheryl (Doug Freeman) Radloff, son:  Russell (Theresa) Radloff, grandchildren:  Robin (Cody) Radloff, Ryan Radloff, Katie (Ryan) Tomajcik, Brenda (Bill) Hartl, Brad (Morgan) Hodgson, Alex (Brittany) Perez, and Seth (Nichole) Garcia, great grandchildren: Bianca, Aidan, Izabella, Grayson, Braylon, Evelyn, Connor, Jasmine, Luna, Walter, and Royce. He is also survived by sister in-law: Dianne Sawlsville and brother in-law: Kenneth Klug, along with 4 nieces: Teri, Lisa, Sara, Becki, great nieces: Victoria and Anna, great nephews: Carson, Collin and Jonah and numerous cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents:  Florence (Helmstadter) and Alvin Radloff.

The funeral service for Don will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 12:00pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill.  Pastor Scott Gustafson will officiate.  Visitation will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at the church, from 9:00am until the time of the service.  Entombment at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery will immediately follow the service. Military honors will be conducted by the VFW Post #1638 at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Trinity Lutheran Church or the Trinity School.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to St. Croix Hospice for their support and care shown to Don and his family during his last days.

For those unable to attend Don’s service, a live stream of the service will be available for viewing on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 12:00pm, and can be found under his obituary on the funeral home website.  It will then be posted as a recording for future viewing.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with the arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald 'Don' Radloff, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, July 9, 2022

9:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church (Merrill)


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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Chuch

, Merrill, WI 54452

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Military Honors

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Interment following funeral service

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