September 20, 1941 - December 25, 2020
Wesley Eugene Rader was born on September 20, 1941, in Alva, Oklahoma to Joe and Maxine Rader. Wesley attended most of his schooling as a child in Hardtner, Kansas. He graduated from Hardtner High School in 1959. He then attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He did his practice teaching at Hardtner High School and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from NWOSU in the Spring of 1963.
On December 22, 1963, he was united in marriage with Sandra “Sandi” McKinney in Hardtner, Kansas. During the early years of their marriage they lived in Piedmont, Byers, and Attica, Kansas where Wesley was a teacher and a coach. They then moved to Hardtner where he became the principal after completing his Master’s Degree in Administration from Northwestern. When the South Barber Schools consolidated, Wesley remained in Hardtner and took on the role of the South Barber Middle School Principal.
In April of 1968, Michael, Wesley and Sandi’s son, was born. Michelle, their daughter, was born in February of 1971. Wesley and Sandi raised their family in Hardtner. Both children attended college at NWOSU just like their dad.
Michael has fond memories of the times he spent in the gym with his dad while he was learning to play basketball. He remembers watching the Dallas Cowboys, KU basketball, and NWOSU Ranger games with his dad. When he was a child, Michael was thrilled when his dad would bring home new brain teasers for him to solve. To this day, when Michael plays chess with his children, he reminds them that it was “Papa'' who taught him to play. He credits his dad with being the one who got him into comic book collecting. Wesley would drive Michael all around Wichita to the different comic book stores, and even helped him find stores when they would go on vacation. Most importantly, Michael was glad that his dad was always “there” if he needed him.
Some of Michelle’s fondest memories of her father were singing with him at Jamborees across the street at Grandpa Joe and Grandma Maxine’s house. Wesley was a fine musician who could play the guitar and violin. He shared the love of music with Michelle as they shared that time together, Wesley playing an instrument while Michelle sang with him. Michelle also remembers having her father as her Middle School Principal. Living a block from her school was a childhood privilege. Multiple memories also involved taking Michelle to the hundreds of dance lessons. Making an effort to support her love of movies, theater, forensics, music and teaching her how to ride a bike that he spray painted baby blue. Wesley was a great teacher and shared that love of teaching with Michelle, as she shares that occupation with him.
Although some principals take summers off, that was not the case for Wesley. Over the years, summers found Wesley working at the Co-Op Elevator to help out during harvest, teaching students driver’s education, managing the Hardtner swimming pool, and teaching computer classes for Pratt Community College. He also started the very first computer lab for the South Barber School District.
Those who knew Wesley knew he was an avid sports fan. If you didn’t know Wesley was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, you didn’t know Wesley. He made the trip to see the Cowboys play in person three times. At one game he caught Roger Staubach’s wristband after the game and another time he got to talk with Emmit Smith in person. If there was a KU basketball game on, you know where Wesley was, in front of the television watching the game. He even had a chance to make the trip to Lawrence to watch Jo Jo White, and later, Danny Manning.
When you saw WB0UVN on a license tag you knew it was Wesley. Early on, he was interested in Morse code and electronics. He earned his HAM Radio license, WB0UVN. He was always willing to share with people his collection of QSL cards he received from talking to other HAM Radio Operators all over the world and even from space. Through years of dedication, he had contacted almost every country in the world, a major feat for any HAM Radio operator.
Another one of Wesley’s hobbies included flying radio-controlled model airplanes. On that perfect flying day, Wesley could be found outside, wearing a cap and looking up. Building and flying model airplanes was a great delight. He would always return home with a sunburned forehead.
“Monday night Family night” was a tradition that was very valued by Wesley. His mother would cook for eleven family members, including Wesley’s wife, son and daughter, along with his sister’s family and Wesley’s father. His family could devour ten pounds of mashed potatoes in about five minutes along with everything else his mother would cook from scratch. This tradition lasted for many years, consisting of great conversations, excellent food, and the same assigned seats each week around the dining room table.
Wesley and Sandi were always attending ballgames, music concerts and traveling to watch their children’s events. Wesley had the opportunity to see his family expand through his children’s marriages. In 1993 Michelle married Shan Hanes. Together they have three daughters: Shayden Denise, Shaybree Danielle and Shaylynn Denae Hanes. Michael married Sheila in 1999. Together they had two daughters and a son: M’Cheila Danae, Traeger Harrison and Brenika Kierra Rader. Watching the grandchildren’s activities, sports events, birthday parties, musical and theatrical performances kept Wesley and Sandi on the road for many miles through the years.
On Friday, December 25, 2020, Wesley passed away at Saint Joseph Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas with his wife, children and their spouses by his side. Surviving relatives include his wife, Sandi Rader; sister, Joyce McCarty and her husband, Larry McCarty; son, Michael Rader and his wife, Sheila Rader; daughter, Michelle Hanes and her husband, Shan Hanes; grandchildren, Shayden Hanes, M’Cheila Rader, Shaybree Hanes, Traeger Rader, Shaylynn Hanes and Brenika Rader; niece and nephews, Deb Wiens, Dan McCarty, and Duane McCarty; brother-in-law, Cliff McKinney, and his wife, Gayla McKinney; brother-in-law, Randy McKinney, and his wife, Dana McKinney.
Public viewing will be Monday, December 28, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Lanman Funeral Home in Kiowa, Kansas. Graveside services will be held on Monday, December 28, 2020 at the Hardtner Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.. The public is welcome to join the family following the graveside service at the Hardtner School. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
Memorials may be made to the Academic Scholarship Fund in the name of Wesley Rader through the funeral home.
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