Donald Morris Redmond, “The Senator,” age 91, of DeKalb, IL, formerly of Cokato, died Monday July 9, 2012, at Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb.
He was born Feb. 24, 1921, in Bozeman, MT, the only child of Samuel E. Redmond and Estelle Z. Coyne. The family moved to Cokato when Donald was 2 years old. He grew up there, where he hung out in his dad’s barber shop, shining shoes for a penny.
Don graduated from Cokato High School in 1939, and lettered in basketball, football, and baseball.
He continued his education in the aeronautical field at Curtiss Wright Technical Institute in Glendale, CA. Upon graduation in 1942, he attained his civil aeronautical airplane and engine license.
The day he graduated, Don was drafted into the army, where he received pilot training as a single engine fighter pilot. Don served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II, and was discharged in October 1945.
At age 30, Don married Rosemary Becker, Oct. 7, 1950, in St. Paul. He and Rosemary moved to Oregon, IL, in 1954, where Don had a job waiting for him at DeKalb-Ogle Telephone Co. as their plant manager, responsible for the operations of plant, traffic and commercial activities.
He continued to advance in the telephone business, holding several management positions, and received the 1978 Continental Telephone Citizenship Award for outstanding community service. Don retired in 1983, with 38 years in the telephone business.
Rosemary died Nov. 9, 1980, at age 56, from ovarian cancer, after 30 years of marriage.
Don married Joan M. Scott April 20, 1985, in Las Vegas, NY. They mutually agreed to divorce in September 2002, after almost 18 years of marriage.
During his career and while raising a family, Don was involved with local sports, civic activities, and his church, which allowed him to give back to the community.
He lived life to the fullest. Don loved to cook and was well-known for his delicious barbeque ribs. He enjoyed fishing, golf, hunting, jazz music, sports of all kinds, playing cards, being around people, and was a loyal Minnesota Twins and Vikings fan.
Don is survived by his children, Juliane (Randy) Rhodes of Sycamore, IL, and Michael (Amy) Redmond of Woodbury; two grandchildren, Renea Rhodes (Alan Jacobs) of Sycamore, IL, and Tyler Rhodes of Tokyo, Japan; a great-granddaughter, Bella Rose Jacobs; and many other relatives and friends.
In addition to his wife, Rosemary, Don was preceded in death by his parents.
A funeral Mass took place Saturday, July 14 at The Church of St. Mary in Sycamore, IL, with Fr. Frank J. Timar, MSC officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Sycamore.
A memorial has been established, to be combined with the Rosemary Redmond Sycamore High School Scholarship Fund that’s been in place for 31 years. For information or to sign the online guest book, go to www.ButalaFuneralHomes.