A retired staff member who committed 45 years of his life to building up and innovating campus as the Assistant Director of Facility Services died Nov. 12.
John Redden, 72, was born Oct. 10, 1946, to John C. Redden Sr. and Rosetta (Billey) Redden in Maryville, Missouri. John Redden married Alice M. Stoll of Stanberry, Missouri April 12, 1966. They had five children Pamela Kay, Richard Alan, Christopher Alan, Bradley Alan and Angela Kay.
John Redden began working for the University in the fall of 1969, he retired Oct. 31, 2014. In his time at the University, he worked under four different University presidents.
University Communication Manager Mark Hornickel said John Redden cared deeply about the University and did all he could for its success.
“He knew every foot of the campus, and his fingerprints are all over it – from helping to build Valk Center and the former aquatic center (now the Foster Fitness Center), to playing a key role in launching our alternative fuels program,” Hornickel said. “He also helped fight the fire that nearly destroyed the Administration Building in 1979.”
According to a Northwest press release, John Redden was most proud of his role in the alternative fuels program which launched in 1982.
“We pretty much started from the bottom up on that one,” John Redden said in the press release. “We tore it all apart and completely rebuilt it and made it work. We spent several nights, several days, 24 hours at a time and we never left until we finally got it to go.”
John Redden also served for 40 years on the Maryville Fire Department. He started out as a volunteer and eventually moved up to fire captain. Under his leadership, the department grew to have 20 volunteers serving Maryville and 10 volunteers serving Polk Township.
History Instructor and Maryville Volunteer Firefighter Matt Johnson said Redden left a lasting impression on the University and the Maryville community.
“John Redden embodied all that is good and honorable about the Fire Service in the United States,” Johnson said. “He lived a life of service and sacrifice that all volunteer firefighters ought to aspire to and his presence will be felt long after the final bell of the three threes has rung.”