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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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Radmer and his daughter, Melissa Vukovich.
Radmer and his daughter, Melissa Vukovich.

Boxing champ Fred "The People's Choice" Radmer dead

When the fatal 10 count in store for all of us tolls over a boxing champion, the custom is to clang the ringside bell at the next fight card 10 times in honor of the departed.

Since boxing in Milwaukee is pretty much dead itself nowadays, fight fans and everyone who admires a never-say-die spirit ought to bang a pot or ring the doorbell 10 times for Fred "The People's Choice" Radmer, who passed away Tuesday at 62.

As I wrote in a Radmer profile for OMC May 18, the Milwaukee native was a popular and always exciting multiple Wisconsin Golden Gloves champion in the late 1960s and a member of the Milwaukee Bombers, the city's entry in the short-lived International Boxing League.

"I always liked boxing," he said. "I learned self-reliance and how to take care of myself."

Those lessons, plus the unstinting love and support of Fred's wife Kathy, children Christine, Melissa and Fred Jr., and five grandkids, helped him in later years overcome alcoholism and endure with grace and courage the tribulations of Lou Gehrig's disease, with which Radmer was diagnosed last October.

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