A celebration of Mary Radels life will take place on Saturday December
1st at 1:00 PM at the First Presbyterian Church in Bishop, Terry Rose
Mary Adelaide Leach Radel, age 93, a Bishop, Ca. resident for 52 years,
born in Millersburg, Penn. on December 29, 1913 to Absolom E. Leach and
Corinne Woodside Leach, passed away on November 18, 2007 in Bishop,
after a long decline.
When her father died suddenly, Mary and her mother moved into the
home of her maternal grandparents, Robert and Ella Woodside; a favorite
uncle, Robert E. Woodside, would later become Pennsylvania State
Attorney General. A good student, Mary excelled as a guard on the
Millersburg High girls basketball team. In 1935, after attending
Lehigh University in Philadelphia, Penn., Mary married her high school
sweetheart, Joseph T. Radel, whose family operated the Millersburg
ferry on the Susquehanna River, one of the few paddlewheel ferries
still operating in the U.S. today. For a time, the romantic Radel
re-christened the ferry Cutie Leach, in honor of Mary.
Mary accompanied Joe westward to Colorado, then the San Francisco
Bay Area, with his work as a Forest Service ranger, finally settling in
Bishop in 1955, when Joe was named Inyo National Forest Supervisor.
During these years Mary bore four children, developed considerable
culinary and homemaking skills and helped Joe build a woodsy house from
local stone, timber and recycled materials in what was then a green,
open field in West Bishop.
Known for her sharp wit, sartorial flair and merry laugh, Marys
strong soprano voice rang out from the back of the First Presbyterian
Church sanctuary every Sunday. Devout Evangelical Christians, she and
Joe generously supported numerous charities and service organizations,
both locally and globally. Mary taught Sunday School for many years,
worked as a volunteer at the Bishop Public Library and could be counted
on to attend both home and away games for Bishop Bronco sports teams.
Mary was a colorful storyteller who never forgot her Pennsylvania
roots. She possessed an uncanny recall of many flower varieties,
spending long hours in her garden. With her husband, she was an
outspoken advocate of progressive values, encouraging in their
offspring appreciation of independent thinking, literature and the
arts. Mary and Joe travelled extensively in retirement and their home
became a haven for travelers from all over the world. This, as well as
their greater legacy, will live on for years to come, as the house they
built together will remain in the family.
Mary is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years, Joseph T.
Radel, daughter, Jane Radel and son, David Radel. Survivors include
daughter and son-in-law, Molly and Jay Smart of Bishop, Ca., daughter,
Susan Hendrick of Sun Valley, Nev., daughter-in-law, Inge Radel,of
Leesburg,Va., grandchildren, Jon Radel, Karen Radel Aylward, Andrea
Tetrick, Paul Schat, Claudia Radel and Kristen Tetrick, plus 11
great-grandchildren and numerous friends across the globe.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those wishing to honor
Mary, make donations in her name to Hospice of Inyo County or World