POOLER – Steve Howard Redding, age 76, passed away peacefully at his home late Friday night, December 14th, surrounded by his loved ones and wrapped in love. He had fought a long battle with metastatic colon cancer and had recently been under the care of Kindred Hospice and under the sweet, watchful eyes of the staff of Harmony Rose Care, LLC. Steve was born August 22, 1942, in Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, GA., the oldest child of his now late parents John Braxton Redding, a career soldier and member of the “Greatest Generation”, and Elizabeth Jeannette Pittman Redding. He was also preceded in death by his beloved son-in-law Michael Stark Rexroat, Jr.
As an “Army brat”, Steve moved with his family several times during his childhood; while living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, brother Bobby was born. They were able to spend over three consecutive years during his teens in Bad Kitzingen, Germany. Those years in Germany provided him, his brother, and parents with many rewarding memories. A brief encounter in the Post Exchange with a young soldier named Elvis Presley was a special highlight for Steve. He was also blessed with becoming big brother to Patricia, a precious baby sister, before the family returned home and once again made Chatham County their home.
After graduating from Groves High School in 1960, Steve Joined the GA Air National Guard, subsequently serving a total of 20 years and retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant from the 165th Airlift Wing in February, 1987. His shooting skill placed him on the Georgia Air National Guard Weapons Competition Team. Since he was born into a family of patriots, Steve’s call to serve began when he was a young boy. His love of God, country, and flag grew stronger as the years went by. He had the distinct honor of providing personal security for the late President George H. W. Bush when he visited Savannah during the mid 1980s as Vice President. He was very proud to be associated with a unit that consistently earned Superior or Outstanding ratings from the U. S. Air Force. After a couple of years with Atlantic Coastline Railroad, Steve was employed by American Cyanamid Company. The company changed hands over a period of time (Kemira, Kerr-McGee, Tronox) and so did Steve’s roles there. During his 35 years of faithful service, he worked primarily as a “company” man in Cost Accounting and as the Sales Liaison for their most valued customers. He earned recognition as a difference maker in Customer Service and the Shipping Department. As a result of his efforts, the company received proficiency awards from their top clients. Steve also served several years on the Pooler Recreation Commission.
Steve loved riding a motorcycle, especially a Harley Davidson. He claimed they had a sweet sound that spoke to him in a special way that promised a smooth ride! For several years, he especially enjoyed the annual Thanksgiving weekend bike rides to Daytona Beach with all the guys: Mikey, Mike (Ace), Jim, Rick, Willie, Bob, and Rob. As a man known for his “black or white and no gray” view of the truth and how to live your life, it was interesting that he loved to watch professional wrestling each and every night it aired on television. He thought it was a special type of entertainment and totally overlooked its lack of authenticity.
Steve was concerned that the Second Amendment could be in jeopardy and supported the efforts of the NRA. As a young boy, he learned to disassemble and reassemble rifles and handguns under the strict supervision of his father, an ROTC instructor at the time. Steve held military personnel in high regard. He would often pick up the tab for fellow diners who were in uniform. Of course he would always remain anonymous but request they be told it was a gesture of gratitude for their service. Steve was “old school” and wanted to be remembered simply as a good man. He was respected and loved by many and will be greatly missed by his family and the few who were fortunate to be called his friend.
Steve is survived by: Mary Lane Redding, his wife and soulmate of 54 years; his daughter Lisa Rexroat Walls (John) of Pooler; his son Steve Howard Redding, Jr. of Pooler, and his two granddaughters: Avery Lane Edwards of Atlanta, and Reese Elizabeth Rexroat of Pooler. He is also survived by his brother Robert B. Redding (Sharon) of Savannah; his sister Patricia J. Redding of Ellabell; his uncle Wendell Pittman (Jewel) of Willow Springs, MO; his aunt Verlyn Tomlin (Leonard) of Buena Vista, VA; his sisters-in-law, Judy L. Harrelson and Joyce L. Oglesby (Doug), all of Statesboro, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He will also be sorely missed by his fur baby and constant companion Sweet Boy Charlie.
A memorial service will be held at Baker-McCullough Funeral Home, 2794 Highway 80 W., Garden City, GA, Monday, December 17th at 5:00 p.m. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, TN 38101, or to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256.