Donald G. Redding, age 88, of Hardin passed away peacefully on February 3, 2020 after a brave battle with cancer.
Donald (Don) was born March 11, 1931 in Billings, Montana, the fifth of twelve children born to Coil Austin and Irene Hoffman Redding. At an early age the family moved to the Sarpy Basin. Don attended the Wolf school until completing the eighth grade. He attended high school in Hardin for a for a short time until the lure of open spaces pulled him away. Don left school and began working for various ranches in and around the Hardin area and always spoke fondly and frequently of his time spent “Cowboying”.
Don entered the Armed Services in 1951. He served during the Korean Conflict and spent time stationed at Fort Huachuca Arizona and in Korea. He was honorably discharged in 1953. Upon discharge he returned to Hardin and married Wilma Genean (Billie) Ragland on June 14th, 1953. They made their home north of Hardin and remained there together for 61 years until Billie’s passing in 2014.
Together, they raised four children, two daughters, Donna (John) Kraft of Ravensdale, Washington, and Bobbie (Cotton) Secrest of Hardin. Two sons, Jim (Chris)Redding of Elgin, Nebraska and David (Susan) Redding of Hysham, Montana. Throughout their years together they enjoyed raising crops, sheep, and Border Collies. In his later years, Don raised and trained working Border Collies. He and Billie traveled to numerous stock dog trials in Montana and surrounding states. Don qualified for and competed in the National Stock finals in Louisville Kentucky. He was sought after as an instructor and even traveled to Alaska to share his training knowledge. During this time, Don used his experience of operating heavy equipment and started Redding Backhoe Service. Over the years, he developed many springs for ranchers and cleaned miles of irrigation ditches in Big Horn County and the surrounding area.
Upon retirement, Don leased his farm to the neighbors but always enjoyed when they would stop and talk about farming. Planting and harvest were his favorite times of year. He took great pride in having some of the best yields in the Big Horn valley.
Don was preceded in death by wife Billie, parents Coil and Irene, brothers Rich and Coil Jr. sisters, Florence, Shirley, and Joan, a son-in-law Chuck Toavs, daughter Donna and great granddaughter Reata Pinkerton. He is survived by Son-in-law John Kraft (Shauna Thayer, Jamie Christensen) Daughter Bobbie Secrest (Deanne Gierke, Chad Toavs, Jimmie Sparks) Son Jim Redding (Paige, Carlie) and David Redding (Jaylene, Clay) and numerous great grandchildren.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank the wonderful caring staff of Compassus Hospice who helped Don on his journey. Thank you all for giving him the best care. The family is forever grateful.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11:00am March 7, 2020 at the First Congregational Church in Hardin, Montana.
Memorials may be made to the First Congregational Church of Hardin, Big Horn County Museum or the charity of one’s choice