Donald Patrick Redding was born on Nov. 6, 1943 and died on Nov. 10, 2019.
Don Redding, admired friend and master builder, died on Nov. 10. Few people are able to be one with both the earth and sea, but Don was a special human being. The sailor, the planter, carpenter and cabinet builder, the survivor, the poet and artist, the renaissance man, the pirate, Don lived simply, contributing in his own positive ways. Those of us fortunate to have shared his life are part of the fabric of a life well lived.
Don spent six years in the U.S. Marines in the ‘60s before joining the working world. Not suited to that life, he chose to drop out and live off the grid, most at ease without all the creature comforts and spared the intrusion of the modern world. For a while, he lived contentedly deep in the woods of Oklahoma, which remained one of his favorite haunts.
After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Don relocated to St. Croix to help rebuild it from the devastating storm. Well regarded for his exacting craftsmanship and work ethic, he became a mentor and remained a friend to many younger workmen. In 1995, he helped build Christiansted’s Kings Alley with Parallel Construction and then the rotunda ceilings at Divi Carina Bay. After many projects around the island, he moved on to design and built custom cabinetry for homes where his artistry and genius could truly flourish. Don was “old school,” sketching his plans with pencil on yellow pads and graph paper. He was not a fan of technology and had just started using his phone for texting.
One of his masterpieces was restoring Helios in the early ‘90s. He sailed Helios, a stunning 42-foot Choy Lee Ketch sailboat, for a year in the Eastern Caribbean and ABC islands.
He carried on as a bachelor/pirate until his friends at Annapolis Sailing School introduced him to Danna Brosius in 1995. They fell in love, travelling to St. Maarten, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and onward as true sailors. They married on St. Croix in 1998.
Don died of a ravaging cancer. He is survived by family and friends in Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon and across the country, and many dear St. Croix friends. His wife Danna Brosius Redding died just two months after him, on Jan. 7. (See obituary for Danna Brosius Redding on this page.)
There will be a celebration of life for both Don and Danna rom 3-6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, at Ha’ Penny Beach. All who wish to remember them are welcome.