In memory of Frank "Fakini" Radtke, Sr.

Frank was born on March 20, 1940
He passed away Sunday, November 8, 2009.
The Boroken Wand Ceremony was November 13, 2009.

Frank was known internationally as Fakini of Fakini's House of Magic. When his wife, Joyce, was alive they produced some of the best feather flower products on the market. Although he produced a number of other products, such as Dr. Zola's Silver Extration, he is best known for his line of solid silcone calls and thimbles. He produced balls in all colors and sizes (including golf ball effects) for jugglers and magicians. He was a regular dealer at ABbott's Get Together. He held a number of offices in the Toledo Society of Magicians, I.B.M. Ring 68. Most notably, he arranged the talent for many of the early Glass City Conjuror's Conclaves.

Frank was primarily a children's entertainer as Fakini, the Fat Fabulous Fascinator.

From The Blade - Obituary

Published in the Toledo Blade on 11/10/2009
Frank Radtke, Sr.

RADTKE Frank Sr. "Fakini" Frank Radtke, 69, passed away Sunday, November 8, 2009, surrounded by his family at Flower Hospital. Frank was born March 20, 1940, to Eva and Clarence Radtke who preceded him in death. He married Joyce Myers who passed away in 1998. Frank was a longtime magician and was known throughout the world as the originator of the silicone balls. He was a member of the IBM, SAM Ring 68 and the International Magic Collectors Association. He was also an avid knife collector. Surviving are his daughters, Melanie and Susan, and sons, Frank, Edward, Randy and Michael; sister, Nora Roundell, and very special mate, Judy Sharp and her children. He also leaves behind 27 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Frank has helped and touched many in the magic community. He will be greatly missed. Friends may call at the Walter Funeral Home, 4653 Glendale Ave., on Friday, November 13, 2009 from 2 to 7 p.m. There will be a Broken Wand Ceremony at 7 p.m. Memorials may be given to Promedica Hospice, 5100 Harroun Rd., Sylvania, OH 43560.

From The 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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