Karl Kalju Raadik, a renowned plastics engineer who contributed to the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, passed away peacefully on March 22nd, 2023, at the age of 94. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends, who cherished him dearly.
Born on August 2nd, 1928, in Viljandi, Estonia, Karl lived in his home country until the outbreak of World War II. At the age of 15, he left Estonia on a Red Cross boat to Germany and eventually migrated to Australia in 1949, where he worked in a munitions factory to earn his passage to the United States.
Karl was reunited with his mother, Helene Raadik, at the age of 26 and later married Martha Madelynne Mott in 1964. Together, they raised five daughters and enjoyed 55 years of marriage until Lynne’s passing in August 2019.
Karl’s career as a plastics engineer was marked by many achievements, but perhaps none more notable than his contribution to the Apollo 11 moon landing. He crafted the Gold Plaque that was attached to the lunar module and remains on the moon to this day. His skills and expertise made him highly respected in his field, and he held various jobs throughout his career, including at Etching Corporation.
Karl is survived by his five daughters, seven grandchildren, 12 greatgrandchildren, four nephews and a niece. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues who knew him for his kindness, generosity, and cheerful demeanor. His legacy as a talented engineer and his contributions to the advancement of science and technology will continue to inspire future generations.