ALAMOSA — Paul Reddin was born in Hooper, Colo. to Gordon and Lelia Reddin, attended Hooper School and graduated in 1960, the first year of the Sangre de Cristo consolidation.
He attended Adams State College and was president of the Young Republicans when he met his future wife, Ann Ingraham. Only after they had been married did she learn that he had never been a republican at all and apparently was never asked his party affiliation when running for office. Paul received a double major in English and history and was encouraged to pursue a doctorate in history by Dr. Norma Peterson of Adams State.
With his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Dr. Reddin was hired by Adams State and began teaching in 1970. At Adams State, Dr. Reddin was on the board of directors for The San Luis Valley Historian as he recruited other writers and authored articles relevant to Hooper including, “A History of General Stores in Hooper, Moffat and Mosca” and “Growing Up in Hooper in the 1950s.”
In 1983, as his parents sold Reddin’s Grocery, Paul transferred to Mesa State College where he taught until 2012 with 42 years of professorship. While here, he established The Journal of the Western Slope, again writing many of the articles. Recently, Reddin and Don MacKendrick published Western Colorado History Revisited, Selected Articles from the Journal of the Western Slope. Reddin was revered as a humorous, engaging and thought-provoking professor. During his illness Paul felt he received exceptional attention because of his connections to the university and the community.
In 1999, Wild West Shows, which had began as his doctoral thesis, was published. It was a history of the shows beginning with George Catlin, through the spectacles of Buffalo Bill Cody before exploring the 101 Ranch and the Tom Mix movies. Published by University of Illinois Press, Reddin gave numerous presentations on his book, including at the Tattered Cover in Denver and the Rocky Mountain Book Festival.
In 1990 Paul and wife, Annie, built a southwestern style home adjoining Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction with an unobstructed view of the mesas. When Paul decided a waterfall was vital to the home design, he hired a zoo designer, and an elephant-sized water feature ensued. He enjoyed home renovation, continuously making improvements.
As a boy in Hooper, Paul began drawing and painting. This love of art continued and upon retirement Paul became involved in the Grand Junction art scene. His preferred medium was watercolor, but his pencil drawings in preparation to paint were often as good. Paul was an avid weight lifting enthusiast and runner, enjoyed cooking and was writing a second book, this one specifically about George Catlin. A linguaphile and sesquipedalian, he eschewed malapropisms.
Paul knew the importance of people. He had fond memories of many Hooperites, including Leland “Slim” Born, Leonard Hood and Sally and Ray Slane. But to Paul, family was of ultimate importance. Paul was very close to his parents and when father Gordon died in 2005, Paul put together a book of remembrances of the life of Gordon and Lelia.
Paul was particularly pleased to have Jed and his grandsons nearby and enjoyed a close relationship with his sister, Sue, and her family.
A refreshing recent increase in family was when the Tuvesons embraced him in their family circle as Jed married Lynnette who Paul instantly adored. Paul also kept in contact with Kevin Reddin, his nephew from Montrose.
Paul is survived by his wife of 54 years, Annie; daughter, Sue Marasco (Paul); son, Jed (Lynnette); and grandchildren, Ella, Wiley, Witt and Tristan.