Deanna “Dee” Marie Radke, 84, of Lumberton, Texas and formerly of Port Acres, Texas passed away Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at Whispering Oaks Lodge (the private care home of Joyce and Paul Lopez) in Lumberton, Texas.
Dee was born on June 9, 1939, in Port Arthur, Texas to Fannie Champagne Vincent and Gaston Vincent. She was a retired music teacher with West Orange Cove I.S.D. in Orange, for twenty years and taught school all together for twenty-four years. Besides music, her teaching career also included teaching fine art and theater arts. Her students loved her so very much and she was often regarded as their favorite teacher. She retired from teaching in May of 1994.
As a young person, Dee graduated from S.F.A. high school in Port Acres in 1957. She was excellent in science and won the distinguished Bausch and Lomb Science Award while at S.F.A. high school. She was also excellent and very active in music/band being a twirler for several years and later a drum major her senior year. Her primary instrument in band was the clarinet. She also put her musical talent toward piano early in life going on to become a music major at Lamar University and completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Later in life, she studied at the graduate-level (also with Lamar University) with credits toward a Master’s degree.
It is noteworthy, that she could also play organ and did that for various churches in the area including, Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church in Port Acres. She was an exceptional musician all the way around! Her passion for music was an inspiration to everyone.
She had a fun and lively personality and was voted Miss Congeniality at the Miss Port Arthur Pageant and participated in the Cavalcade Parade with the Jaycees. Dee never met a stranger! She exuded great enthusiasm in life and a profound love for others.
Throughout her life, Dee also enjoyed ‘Cajun cooking”, teaching private piano lessons and singing. She was quite the vocalist with a powerful and very beautiful soprano voice! She was active in many church choirs over the years. And she played in the Chamber Musicians organization in Orange County.
Dee also participated in the Orange Lion’s Club along with her husband, Melvin, for many years. One of the most memorable things she did was operate the cotton candy booth at the annual Lion’s Club Carnival in Orange. She would always be covered in cotton candy from head-to-toe!
Dee was a Christian who had a strong and abiding faith in the Lord. She loved Jesus with all her heart. Attending church and helping others was always important to her. She was raised Catholic and attended Little Flower of Jesus in Port Acres as well as Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Orange, Texas for many years. One of her last church memberships however, was held at MacArthur Heights Baptist Church in Orange, Texas where she happily worshipped along with her husband Melvin. After his death, she held membership and sang in the choir at Westgate Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas before she became too ill to drive. After that, she happily rode along with her oldest daughter, Stephanie, to attend church with her at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont, Texas, for as long as she was able.
Ultimately, the most important thing to Dee was her family. She was a kind and loving mother who always had time to help her children and grandchildren. She was “there” for us in life! Survivors include her children, Stephanie Radke Lanoue of Lumberton, Melvin Raymond Radke, III of Lumberton and Sandra Radke Kedjierski of Seminole, Florida; grandchildren, Katie Marie Radke, David Kedjierski, Kimberly Kedjierski; her sister, Shirley Bobbitt of Port Acres; brother, Kenneth Vincent of Bridge City; and sister-in-law Donna G. Radke of Livingston, Texas.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Radke; parents, Gaston and Fannie Vincent and her brother, Teddy Vincent.
Visitation will include a gathering of family and friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 13, 2023, at Melancon’s Funeral Home on Ave H in Nederland. Additionally, a Rosary will be recited starting at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 14, 2023, also at Melancon’s Funeral Home with burial to follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Nederland, Texas.