Herbert C. Quade, born July 21, 1926, passed away on October 7, 2023, at the age of 97. He was predeceased by his parents Herbert and Ethyl Quade and sister Etta May Johnson (Bob). He is survived by his wife of 70 years June Quade, son Preston Quade (Jean), daughter Eileen Sanders (Tom), grandson Dr. Patrick Quade (Meryl) and granddaughter Laura Quade.
A graduate of Denfeld High School in Duluth, MN, Herb joined the Navy after graduation. He had two tours of duty in the Navy: patrol in the Mediterranean at the close of World War II and action off Korea aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte during the Korean conflict. Herb had amusing shore leave stories from the Mediterranean (such as the day Elizabeth Taylor came aboard) and harrowing flight deck stories from Korea. On the Leyte at the time was his acquaintance Naval Aviator Jesse Brown whose final, fatal mission is documented in the book and film Devotion.
He met his future wife June of Proctor, MN, in Florida where she had relocated, and he was stationed. Since Herb was a career Navy man, the family relocated frequently before settling in Norfolk. Herb had a complete understanding of electricity and wireless communications. He first studied and later taught Naval Avionics and was an integral part of the team that designed and built the electronics for the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft, (AEW). The Hawkeye is still flown and is a common site over Norfolk during training runs. Herb had a single-mindedness to make rank and by the end of his career had ascended to the highest non-commissioned rank in the Navy: Master Chief E9.
Herb retired from the Navy at the age of 44 to pursue his varied interests. He drove a truck over the road for a few years before fully retiring. Herb had a lifetime interest in flight especially lighter than air aircraft: dirigibles and blimps. He half-jokingly said he was a reincarnated dirigible pilot from World War I. In his 80’s he took a ride in a blimp and thoroughly enjoyed it. Herb always had a book going: current popular authors, aviation history, biographies of his heroes (e.g. Nicola Tesla,) and anything by Neville Shute, his favorite author. When home, Herb was the daddy of the block, neighbor children continually came over to see what Mr. Quade was up to in his garage and he kept their bicycles in good repair.
While in the Navy, Herb was fastidious about the condition of his uniform. It was always squared away and this carried over into civilian life. When socializing he always wore creased slacks and ironed shirts. Which is not to say he ever learned to iron his clothes.
Herb liked to be on the move. He bought his first Airstream trailer in 1965. Subsequently the family spent holidays and long weekends camping in the California hills and beyond. Years later Herb and June laughed to see that some of their trailer experiences were duplicated by the shenanigans enacted by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the comedy The Long, Long Trailer—think large rock collecting.
After upgrading to a larger Airstream, Herb and June joined the Wally Byam Caravan Club International. They took yearly club “caravans” to sites all over North America. Herb knew his rig inside and out, from repairing the propane refrigerator to repacking the bearings. He performed all the routine trailer maintenance himself and wrote safety and maintenance articles for the Club newsletter The Blue Beret. He also taught AARP driver safety classes. Before and after caravans, they would visit camp sites on the way to or from the caravan site. They took the Airstream to Duluth for yearly family visits or for Herb’s high school reunions, which he much enjoyed.
Herb loved to drive. For many years he drove for the Red Cross to pick up blood from blood drives and take it to designated Red Cross facilities or hospitals. He was ready to go on a day’s notice and was awarded a distinguished volunteer award.
Herb had an infectious positive attitude and a story or joke for most occasions. He had a gift for Scandinavian accents which enhanced his favorite joke about Swedes on a fishing expedition or the latest Ole and Lena joke. His height and presence made him hard to miss. When you met Herb Quade, you met somebody you’d not soon forget.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
The Quade family extends heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Commonwealth Senior Living at the Ballentine and to Trinity Hospice for their care and affection, especially during the last weeks of his declining health. The staff’s kind and gentle ministrations during this difficult time made him as comfortable as could be and he appreciated it.