Frank Radtke

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Location: Toledo

Frank Radtke

Postby amp » November 8th, 2009, 8:10 pm

Sorry to report that Frank Radtke passed away this afternoon, Sunday, November 8.

Jonathan Townsend
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Location: Westchester, NY

Re: Frank Radtke

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 8th, 2009, 8:32 pm

amp wrote:Sorry to report that Frank Radtke passed away this afternoon, Sunday, November 8.

Please do tell some more about this person including their connection to magic...
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Jim Martin
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Location: St. Louis

Re: Frank Radtke

Postby Jim Martin » November 8th, 2009, 8:42 pm

Frank Radtke was the designer/manufacturer of the Fakini product line. He produced a fantastic product.

Here's an informative link:

Condolences to his family.
Jim Martin
St. Louis MO

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Joined: November 9th, 2009, 2:14 pm

Re: Frank Radtke

Postby RiNgMaStR1967 » November 9th, 2009, 2:23 pm

Frank was known as "The Fat and Fabulous Fasinator<sp>"
Best known for his work with silicone billiard balls but also did multiplying eggs, color changing plumes and a few other fine props.
This summer he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Abbott's Get-together.
He had a very brief illness and had been diagnosed with cancer just a couple days prior to his passing. He was surrounded by family.
Details of arrangements will be posted as soon as they are made.
For the record, prior to his passing he made arrangements to see that his line of products will continue to be made in the Fakini tradition, passing the company located in Delta Ohio on to his sons. More details when they are known.

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Mike P
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Location: Ohio

Re: Frank Radtke

Postby Mike P » November 9th, 2009, 4:47 pm

That is sad news. I knew Frank through Ted Corothers Magic Studio.
Frank was always great to talk to.
He will be missed.

One of his sons's has been working with his dad for the better part of 15 + years. The House of Fakini is in good hands. I am glad it will stay in the family.

RIP Frank ....

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Joined: November 9th, 2009, 2:14 pm

Re: Frank Radtke

Postby RiNgMaStR1967 » November 10th, 2009, 2:23 pm

Franks obituary can be viewed here: ... =135734696

Also this article appears in the Tuesday Toldeo Blade:

Article published Tuesday, November 10, 2009
FRANK RADTKE, 1940-2009
Inventor revered for props used in magic

DELTA - Frank Radtke, a retired toolmaker who was known worldwide as the inventor of high-bounce silicone balls that have been favored for many years by famous jugglers, died Sunday in Flower Hospital. He was 69.

A longtime South Toledo resident who recently moved to Delta in Fulton County, Mr. Radtke came up with the idea for the prized prop while seated at his kitchen table in 1970, his son Randy said.

Products made by Mr. Radtke, who operated The House of Fakini, were featured in movies, including Disney's The Prestige, about two rival magicians.

One of the magicians, said Mr. Radtke's son, uses a Fakini ball special-ordered by Disney. Other orders came from famous magicians, said Randy, recalling the day he walked into his father's shop and David Copperfield was on the telephone with Mr. Radtke.

Dennis Weigel, owner of Glass City Magic in Toledo, who knew Mr. Radtke for many years, said, "Frank was internationally known because of his juggling balls. Frank was a magician, and he was a very creative individual. He became an international provider of juggling equipment for many, many professional jugglers around the world.

"Everybody who was a terrific and professional juggler used Fakini's balls," Mr. Weigel said.

Mr. Radtke came up with the idea for the specialized silicone balls "because he had knowledge of molten plastic. He was a plastic tool maker for a living. It took him years to come up with the formula," said Randy, a magician for 22 years.

Mr. Weigel said Mr. Radtke developed a certain chemical within the silicone that "made an interesting reaction on stage. The balls would react a certain way, and jugglers would understand how they would bounce."

For years Mr. Radtke had a magic shop in his garage. "A kid would come in and buy a $2 trick and dad took two hours of his time teaching the trick to the kid," his son said. "That's how it was with dad. He was such a great guy. He helped so many people in the magic community, thousands of people, with his products."

Mr. Radtke performed at magic shows in Toledo and surrounding states for many years under the name of Fakini, the Fat Fabulous Fascinator. "Dad weighed in at 360. He made a joke out of it," his son said. "Everything dad did was comedy."

Other products made by Mr. Radtke included Fakini's plumes, feathered flowers of changing colors, which Mr. Weigel said were favorites of magicians: "They were so sophisticated, so beautifully done."

Mr. Radtke often attended the annual four-day convention in Colon, Mich., known as the Magic Capital of the World, Mr. Weigel said, noting his friend was introduced to the world of magic by Ted Carrothers, who ran a magic shop in Toledo for 40 years. Mr. Carrothers taught magic to young people at the Boys and Girls clubs in Toledo, Mr. Weigel said, "and Frank was one of them."

Mr. Radtke, an avid knife collector and knife thrower, was a member of International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 68 and Society of American Magicians.

Magicians will gather at the Walter Funeral Home in Toledo to participate in a Broken Wand Ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, Randy Radtke said. After the ritual, the wand pieces can be placed in the casket or, as with Mr. Radtke, cremated with the body, he said. Mr. Radtke died of pancreatic cancer.

He is survived by daughters Melanie and Susan, sons Frank, Edward, Randy, and Michael, sister, Nora Roundell, 27 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Walter Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to Promedica Hospice.

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