Monday, April 26, 2010

Lyle Rader

Lyle Rader
September 21, 1937-April 23, 2010

Lyle Rader, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, farmer, entrepreneur, skiing buddy, tennis partner and friend passed away on April 23rd, 2010. Lyle was a lifelong achiever, motivator and mentor. He was immediately loved and admired by everyone he met, both personally and professionally, and will be forever missed and loved.

Lyle was born and raised in the Fife Valley and graduated from Fife High School. He was a state wrestling champion in 1955 and in 1959, at the age of 22, Lyle was voted Star Farmer of America by Future Farmers of America, the highest honor that organization can bestow on its members.

Over the past 60 years, Lyle built Rader Farms, Inc. from a small family farm to one of the nation’s leading producers of berries. Lyle’s vision and tireless devotion, coupled with the efforts of his wife Sue, and children Julie and Brad, and their faith that “one can do all things through Christ,” created a company in Rader Farms that currently grows and processes over eight hundred acres of raspberries and blueberries employing over five hundred people. Rader Farms’ berries are distributed internationally through successful partnerships with Costco, Safeway, Meijer, Jamba Juice, Western Family and more.

During his career in agriculture, Lyle was a leader and innovator for farmers across the country, developing and implementing practices at Rader Farms that have been replicated throughout the industry. In addition to building Rader Farms, Lyle served as president of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission where he led national efforts to enhance farming in the United States and to ensure the future viability of American agriculture. His most recent efforts in this arena focused on addressing Chilean fruit dumping, a successful effort that required his testimony in front of the United States Trade Commission.

In 2007, Lyle and his wife Sue sold Rader Farms and the company continues to grow today under the leadership of their son Brad. Over the last few years, Lyle and Sue have been fortunate to form new friendships at their home on Camano Island, the slopes and on various adventures around the world.

Lyle was a devoted Rotarian for thirty-five years where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He also served on several community organizations including chairman of the Fife school board and county land-use committee co-chairman.

Lyle is survived by Sue, his loving wife of 44 years, daughter Julie Newell, her husband Tom, son Brad, his wife Kari, grandchildren Arianna, Sofia and Brooke, sister Doris Hall and brother Leon.

We know Lyle is now reunited with his loving mother, Leolo Wayno, and father, John Rader, who shaped his perseverance, his strong faith in God and his appreciation for this wonderful life.

Private graveside services will be held Tuesday, April 27, in Sumner, WA. A memorial service for Lyle will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the Sonlight Community Christian Reformed Church, 8800 Bender Road, Lynden, WA.

Lyle’s family welcomes donations to the Lynden or Fife High School Future Farmers of America programs or to the Mt. Baker Rotary’s Annual Polio campaign, a cause very close to Lyle’s heart.

Memorial donations for Lyle may be sent to Lynden High School FFA, Attn: Teri Hilt 1201 Bradley Rd., Lynden, WA 98264, Fife High School FFA, Attn: Jayne Sanderson 5616 20th Street E., Tacoma, WA 98424 or Mt. Baker Rotary – Polio Plus, Post Office Box 52, Lynden, WA 98264.

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