October 20, 2014

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Medina man drowns trying to save girl in Lake Erie

Peter Radke

Peter Radke

Update: A memorial fund for the Radke family has been set up at GoFundMe.com.

A 43-year-old Medina Township father of four died Saturday evening trying to save a girl from drowning in Lake Erie.

Coast Guard officials said Peter Radke was among a group at Bay Village’s Huntington Beach who jumped into the lake to help a young girl who was struggling in the water about 6 p.m.

The girl was rescued, but Radke did not emerge.

An official from Cleveland Metroparks said first responders from 11 agencies aided in the search with the help of divers and a helicopter.

The divers found Radke’s body after three hours.

The family of Peter Radke released this statement:

“Words cannot express the profound sorrow we feel over the death of our beloved Pete. He was dedicated to serving God and anyone in need. While we never expected to lose him so soon, we take comfort in knowing Pete’s final moments were spent saving the life of another. Peter Todd Radke, devoted husband and father of four, would have had it no other way.”

Vera Shelton, Radke’s next-door neighbor, said Radke was at Huntington Beach celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his family Saturday afternoon.

Shelton said he was a good, hard-working family man who had a strong Christian faith.

“He was a wonderful person,” she said. “He was always doing things with his children and he was always working so much.

“He is in a far better place now. Pete is with the Lord.”

Radke owned his own technology consulting company called RocksTech, which he operated from his home for more than 12 years, according to his LinkedIn website.

Additionally, Radke was an interactive media specialist for Hitchcock Fleming & Associates Inc., a creative marketing firm based out of Akron.

He had been with the company more than five years.

A spokesman for Cleveland Metroparks, which owns Huntington Beach, said the incident is under investigation to determine what happened.

“We are saddened by the incident that occurred yesterday evening at Huntington Beach and send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Peter Radke,” the spokesman said in a press release.

“Huntington Beach has long been a destination for families to gather in our community and nothing
is more important to us than the safety of our visitors.”

Funeral arrangements for Radke have not been announced yet.

Contact Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.


  • Jeanne Sugaski

    Prayers and thoughts for the family, may God give you comfort during this time.

  • Sis Delish

    This obviously didn’t happen while Life Guards were on duty?

  • keepsmewonderin

    This is so sad. May he rest in peace, may his family find peace, and may the girl he saved be watched over by him as the angel he now is. Let’s hope this fine man did not die in vain, and hope the young lady who he saved does great things with her second chance. Mr. Radke is what real heroes are made of.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Godspeed to a selfish hero.

    • luvmytoaster

      Selfish or selfless?

  • Bill

    Thank you Mr Radke for so selfishly putting your life on the live to save another. Rip and god speed.

    • luvmytoaster

      …..again, selfishly or selflessly?

      • Bill

        Who the hell cares. On a story of a man giving his life for another why are you trolling.
        Pretty sure everyone who read my comment and GreatRedeemer got the point except for your narrow minded pinhead.

        • luvmytoaster

          Well use the correct grammar next time you idiot – at least GreatRedeemer corrected his/her post……

          There’s a big difference between selfishly and selflessly…..

          • Bill

            Again troll, I’m sure everyone got the point of my post. Now go to another thread and do your troll thing as you did with the Keystone senior.