Monday, July 25, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A rosary will be recited at 7:30PM.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Throughout his rich and rewarding life, a life that spanned almost nine decades, Walter John Redmond brought tremendous happiness to those around him. Walter was a hardworking man who accomplished so much of which to be proud, both in business and in his family life. There was no greater joy in his life than being surrounded by his beloved children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Walt shared much of his life’s journey with the wife he cherished for 58 wonderful years and with whom he experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. As his family and friends can attest, he had a zest for life that made him a joy to be around. Walt will be dearly missed while his memory is cherished forever.
Walter grew up in the decade of the 1930’s which was defined by the Great Depression. With high unemployment and jobs being scarce to come by, people were left to do whatever they could to make ends meet. Walt’s life began on September 6, 1927, in Kalamazoo, MI, the son of George and Margaret (Dennany) Redmond. In spite of the hardships of the times, the family made the best of it all and like most other children, young Walt experienced a childhood full of fun and good times with his sisters and brothers and neighborhood kids. Walt liked to play football with anybody who was available and he also had a keen interest in collecting stamps and coins. He liked being busy physically and mentally, and he had an adventurous streak as well—like separating the cap away from a shotgun shell and then detonating the cap separately. Boys will be boys! He and his friends had fun a lot of fun doing this but it all came to an abrupt halt one day the cap ended up in Walt’s shin!
Unfortunately, one of Walt’s brothers died when he was about 16 years old. Not long after, Walter decided he wanted to join the Navy. Being underage, he needed permission from his mother which she agreed to as he was very serious about his decision. Serving in the United States Navy was an important part of Walter’s young life and he talked openly about it as his life went on. He joined just as WWII was coming to an end. There was a bit of prankster in Walt (remember the shotgun shell caper) and he enjoyed telling the story of being Okinawa Bay where a buoy marked an important point. Well, someone shot at the buoy and sunk it for fun and a ship ran aground because of it! Walt never said who shot at the buoy!
Walter's life changed forever when he met Ann, the girl of his dreams. They fell in love and married on January 25th, 1958. That was the beginning of a long, wonderful, vibrant life together for two marvelous people, and as time went on, for their eight beautiful children. Walt and Ann have been married for 58 years and have 58 immediate descendants! Pretty spectacular by any standard!
Walt and Ann built a house on Redstock in 1961, but after their sixth child was born, they needed a little more room and moved to the Lover’s Lane home. That was in 1969 and they lived their most their lives raising their family. When the children grew and moved on their own, Walt and Ann were blessed to make a house on Edgefield their home. Walter loved his family and being a dad. And he was a great dad! He earned the respect of his children by setting the example of what was important in life and by demonstrating how best to live your life. The children respected their dad and tried hard to make him proud, not mad! Walt wasn’t one to swear in their home nor was he one to spank the kids—but their mother was known to give a spanking or two! Walt loved attending all the games the kids were in during school. There was nothing more important to Walt than supporting his children in every way possible as he guided them along life’s pathway. All the kids remember the great family vacations trips to Kings Island, Ohio and the fun they had staying all together at the Knights Inn, always pronounced “K-Nights” by their dad who got such a kick out of it! Walt always got a kick out of cracking a joke.
Nothing was more important to Walt than his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. The more the merrier was his outlook! He was happiest when there were lots of family and friends at the house for an afternoon of food and good times. He also liked giving his wife a break by taking the whole family to dinner so “Mom” wouldn’t have to cook. They’d stay at the Sheraton Hotel after eating at the Brown Derby. To this day, all the children cherish those memories.
In addition to his family, Walt especially enjoyed his best and long-time friends, Chuck Woroniecki, Tom Ouellette, Stan Mack, Mike McGuigan and Phil Settles. They’d play golf together and then go out to eat and celebrate their friendship. Walt loved to entertain customers from work too, as well as spending quality time with his brothers, Clarence and George. He loved his dogs, too, Brutus and Rocky, and he always got a kick out of seeing the ‘grandpups' as he called them. Walt truly enjoyed golf and organizing golf outings. He loved breakfast with his friends every Saturday and lunch on Wednesdays.
To this day, Walt’s children try to mimic him in many ways because as they put it, “To be like him is to be a better person.” He was humble, kind, thoughtful, generous, caring, and he was a peacemaker too. As the Bible says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Church and attending Mass was always important to Walt. And so was Knights of Columbus #1616 At St. Monica Church. He participated as much as he possibly could in K of C and in many various church fundraisers and enjoyed every minute of doing so. He was one to carry the torch proudly for years, saying the Rosary when his brother, George, passed away—fulfilling a deep obligation he felt to his brother and setting a wonderful example for his children to see.
Walter was a hard worker, first in the paper industry. Later he owned R & S Supply and then Re-Bro before retiring in 2014 from River Valley Paper Company. He wasn’t all work and no play, though. He was an avid Detroit Tiger’s fan which fit well with him being a numbers guy. Walt knew how all the teams in the league were doing and what their standings were in relation to the Tigers. He could recount all sorts of numbers about them and how many games ahead or behind all the teams were. He loved watching the pitchers and would decide on his own, based on the numbers, what pitcher was worth putting in and who was better left in the bullpen! He could easily go on and on about it and when things didn’t go well he would always say, “Ah, nuts”! Walt loved watching Notre Dame football, too. He also enjoyed golfing, especially the annual Notre Dame Golf Outing. In his spare time and in his quest for the perfect golf club he enjoyed re-gripping golf clubs.
This good and faithful servant, known as Walter John Redmond, a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and friend to many, leaves a legacy to be admired and cherished for years to come. His life is an example of the power of faith, work, generosity, friendship, and unconditional love for his wife and family. He lived with purpose, enjoyed life to the fullest, made the most of every opportunity that came his way and in so doing will live on in the hearts and minds of all who were blessed to know him.
Walter John Redmond, age 88, died July 19, 2016 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Walt was born on September 6, 1927 in Kalamazoo, the son of George and Margaret (Dennany) Redmond. He was preceded in death by his siblings: Thomas, Margaret, George, Cornelius, Edward, Clarence and Marie. Walt is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ann Redmond; 8 children: Michael (Deb) Redmond, Molly (John) Lockemeyer, Patrick Redmond, Timothy Redmond, Dan (Angie) Redmond, Clancy (Julie) Redmond, Kelly (Heather) Redmond, Kathy (John) Barnes; 26 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; and a sister, Eileen VerDries. Visit with family and friends on Monday from 5-8PM at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (269-375-2900), where a rosary will be recited at 7:30PM. Services will take place on Tuesday, 11AM at the funeral home followed by burial at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Walt’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice, St. Monica Church or K of C Council 1616.