Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, March 22, 1999

Walleyes beware: Shelly Reddemann retires

By Andrea Vargo

Not many people nowadays keep the same job for a really long time, but Munson's elevator manager Shelly Reddemann decided that 35 years is long enough. It's time for family and fishing.

Reddemann retired March 1, and now has time for leisurely lunches with his granddaughter and fishing with his son . . . so far.

Always an avid hunter and fisherman, the years between youth and maturity never contained enough time for the out-of-doors activities.

Those years have passed rather quickly for Reddemann.

Memberships in the Howard Lake Lions, American Legion Post 145, Howard Lake Sportsman's Club, St. James Lutheran Church, and 25 years on the city's volunteer fire department kept him busy.

Add to that two terms on the Howard Lake City Council, and it's surprising he had time to fish at all.

He came to Howard Lake in 1964, after he was offered a job as elevator manager by the Peavy company.

He thought it was a great opportunity, since he was assistant elevator manager at Henderson, Minn. at the time.

What made it even nicer was the vacation. Peavy shut down for two weeks every July 1, so Reddemann, who started June 29, got an immediate two weeks of vacation.

Then, in 1965, the elevator was sold to the Munsons, and Reddemann has managed the elevator ever since.

Back then, he had one part-time person to help with clean-up and fall harvest. In 1967, the elevator got a corn dryer and started handling corn.

Reddemann talked briefly about his job. The ability to be able to move around and not be stuck behind a desk seemed to be important to him.

Of course, working in an elevator has its hazards, he said. Dust was the biggest one.

For health reasons, he said, he wore a mask with a filter.

"Of course, that dust is highly explosive, but the more air available, the less chance of explosion," he said.

The elevator in Darwin is a case in point.

"Some of these old elevators used LP gas to heat their buildings. If there is a leak, that stuff (the gas) settles to the bottom," he explained.

With the dust in a fairly confined space, when the heater started up, the elevator blew up.

"Thank goodness no one was killed," he said.

But life was not all work. In addition to new job responsibilities in a new town, Reddemann is a community person and joined several local organizations.

He remembers refurbishing the upstairs of the city hall for dances, helping the Lions create Lions Park out of an area that used to be a state fish-rearing pond, and playing water ball with the fire department on the weekends.

Reddemann reminisced, "Ted Utne had a bus. We loaded up all the families and went to water ball contests every weekend, somewhere. We'd get about six or seven fire departments together, play water ball, and have a big picnic with the families."

He married Donna Greenhoff in 1965, and they started a family. His kids grew up with the fire department families and those fun weekends, he said.

Three children and two granddaughters later, Reddemann has come full circle and now has more time for his family.

In fact, the circle may be a little full for the next four to six weeks. His daughter, Michelle, and her family will be moving in with the Reddemanns, during the construction of Michelle's new house.

"It will be just like having the kids at home again," said Reddemann.

He expects to help where he can, and be a "go-fer" when it is needed. He has already started that part of his retirement job for his wife, who still works.

Even with a full house for a while, he said he intends to devote about half his free time to his city council position.

The construction work on Highway 12 in the next couple of years requires a lot of attention in order to help the business community and residents as much as possible, he said.

There is a garden to be planted with vegetables and lots more flowers this year, a wedding to be attended in Portland, and then there is always the fishing.

Reddemann is running behind already, and he is only two weeks into retirement.


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