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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Airman 1st Class Noah A. Radde served less than a year in the U.S. Air Force. But he left an impression on his fellow airmen that far outweighed his short stint.

“He had a quirkiness about him that gave him a lot of character,” said Staff Sgt. Lascel Smith. “It was something in the way he walked, the way he talked. He was a hard charger, but he had a lot of personality.”

Dozens of his fellow 100th Security Forces Squadron airmen along with scores of other Mildenhall-based airmen converged on the base chapel Wednesday afternoon to pay their final respects to Radde.

The 25-year-old Minnesota native died March 25 inside his barracks at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He was recovering from two colon surgeries at Wilford Hall Medical Center, according to his mother, Jan Radde.

Sgt. Richard Wood worked alongside Radde and forged a friendship that grew outside their duties protecting the 100th Air Refueling Wing. He recalled Radde’s culinary interests.

“He was a chef, a good cook,” Wood said. “His lasagna was the best. It wasn’t the traditional lasagna, but had a variety of ingredients you wouldn’t see in a normal lasagna.”

Capt. Joe Wildman, acting commander of the security forces squadron, said Radde’s penchant for an impromptu gathering was well-known throughout the squadron.

“He would just be hanging out in his dorm room and on the fly he would throw a meal together and feed his friends,” Wildman said.

His mother praised the Air Force in its handling of her son’s death, but acknowledged his surgery was “something that he should have recovered from.”

“We are extremely pleased with the way the Air Force has handled everything,” Jan Radde said. “The entire family has been impressed with their response.”

A probe into Radde’s death is still being conducted by the Office of Special Investigations, which declined to release information during the investigation.

For those who gathered Wednesday, it was how Radde lived, not died, that mattered most.

“He epitomized an Air Force security forces member,” Smith said. “You want every member to have the drive he had.”

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