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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Wade Westlake Badger

Wade Westlake Badger of Shelter Island Heights, passed away on Friday, June 11, 2021. He was 78 years old.

His family invites anyone who knew Wade to join them for an informal memorial service on Friday, June 18, from 1-to-3 p.m. at the Shelter Island Heights Beach Club. All are invited to bring a written memory of Wade and there will be an opportunity for everyone who wants to speak.

Born June 21, 1942 in Evanston, Ill., Wade lived most of his childhood in Garden City, N.Y. with his parents, Janet and Trafton, and his sister, Carol. The family spent nearly every summer of Wade’s youth on Shelter Island, where he was an avid sailor and the first commodore of the Junior Yacht Club. Wade competed in the Woodpussy, Star and Penguin classes. He also taught tennis lessons and maintained the Heights courts on Clinton Avenue as a young man.

Wade graduated first in his class from Garden City High School in 1960 and received a B.S. with honors in Physics from Wesleyan University in 1964. He earned a Masters Degree in Physics from the University of Rochester and was pursuing a Doctorate there, before taking a job in Reston, Va., where he and his family moved in 1974.

Wade worked as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1978, until his retirement in 1998. He was responsible for designing and programming the Food and Nutrition Service Public Information Data Bank. Prior to that, he worked for the Bureau of Naval Personnel as a recreation analyst and as an operations/systems analyst. He was a project director in charge of recreational development with Riverton Properties, in West Henrietta, N.Y., before moving to Reston, Va. When he first arrived in Virginia, he worked as a budget analyst for Community Management Corporation.

Wade moved full-time to Shelter Island in 1999 and served on the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation Board of Directors, where he was instrumental in improving the performance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. He also served on the Board of Directors of the North Ferry Company and worked locally with the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition, Wade was heavily involved as a volunteer on the Island, working as an elections official and volunteering for the Senior Citizens Affairs Council, which recognized him as Volunteer of the Year in 2015. Wade also gave time to the  Shelter Island Library, where he particularly enjoyed his years working as a mentor for students in the 2Rs4Fun program.

A thorough researcher, Wade made a name for himself as a source of information for Shelter Island history and amassed an extensive collection of Shelter Island postcards.

He is survived by his sons, Michael (Auckland, New Zealand) and Matthew (Cranston, R.I.) Badger, and his sister, Carol McMakin (Cleveland, Ohio). He was formerly married to Susan Donahue Badger (Cranston, R.I.).