Montauk Boat Captain John Rade Dies on June 15

John Rade
John Rade

John Joseph Rade, a longtime member of the Montauk community, died on June 15 at the Kanas Center for Hospice Care.

Growing up in Montauk gave him the chance to become a person who loved nature, the people he had the opportunity to know, his family and fishing. Born to Rodovan Richard Rade and the former Helen Waczkowska, and brother Richard, in Ozone Park, the family moved to Montauk when John was 3 years old, and he never looked back.

His father began fishing, eventually as a captain in the Viking Fleet under Carl Forsberg Sr. John fished on the Viking as well, becoming a captain during the winters when the Marlin was not fishing. John owned his own boats, all named Starfish, docking at Mike Kayle’s Inlet Marina. Growing up he learned various ways to fish, from the dock at Fort Pond, on open party boats such as Zev Anderson’s Little Red, and a charter boat with captain Charlie Kaiser.

He remembered a time that he wasn’t in school and came home at the time the school bus got there. He found the school principal sitting in the kitchen having coffee with his mother, asking why he was not in school, again. It happened to be a great day to fish.

In addition to being on the Montauk School basketball team, winning the Little Three title and Annual Invitational championship, his best recollection in baseball is playing, under Coach Zebrowski, against Bridgehampton School and Carl Yastrzemski.

His dad, Dick, bought the open party boat, Marlin with John and Richard as mates. In the 1960s they built the 65-foot Marlin III, later adding the Little Marlin. The boats had a strong following of avid fishermen.

In addition to fishing, the Marlin III became one of the first boats to do a moonlight sail to Block Island, and several years of set-lining for cod on Cox’s Ledge. Richard and John loved fishing. In 1971 John formed his own business, Starfish Enterprises, purchasing a Maine coast Lobsterman and proceeded to become a successful commercial fisherman, a “Pin Hooker.”

On November 15, 1969 he married Karen A. Koelpin, expanding his family with the Koelpins and aunts, uncles and cousins who had all loved Montauk.

His children grew up loving fishing and are carrying on the tradition. Son Brian is a commercial fisherman and daughter Judith, a Montauk School special education teacher, is married to commercial fisherman Chris O’Brien. Daughter–in-law Jennifer Buklad is a teacher at the Ross School. John always felt that the children should know more than fishing, as it has changed over the past 50 years. Five grandchildren, Maggie, Taylor and Allison Rade and Hunter and Riley O’Brien love being on the boats, and even fishing.

Memorial donations would be appreciated to: Montauk Fire Dept. Ambulance Co. #4, 12 Flamingo Ave, Montauk; East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978; or Send A Kid Fishing, P.O. Box 21, Patchogue, NY 11772.

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