Reddeman was born in Madison, Wisconsin on August 15, 1923. He
originally grew up on a farm and did chores before school. He
went to a one-room schoolhouse and that is probably the reason
that he was able to focus while many distractions were around
him. He was always a very intelligent man. He earned a university
scholarship but did not use it because his mother died when he
was 13 and he went to work to support his family.
He served his country during World War II in the South Pacific
and started out in radar there. While serving, he received honors
for graduating at the top of his class, and special commendation
from the Adjutant General. He received many medals including the
He married Anna Balogh on January 30, 1943. He was 19 and she
was 17. They would have been married 63 years this January (2006).
After the war he headed his own construction crew and built his
own tri-level house in Des Plaines, Illinois. When times got rough
due to the climate, he moved his family to California. There he
not only took care of his wife and five children, he took care
of his mother-in-law and sister-in-law and became the honorary
father of his three nephews as well!
Earning his degree in science while working and supporting his
family, he became an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena, California. He worked on the unmanned space probes
including: Echo, Mariner, Saturn and Ranger. He developed two
color-code systems for the computer and was mentioned in JPL’s
history books as a result. I fondly remember watching a film in
the eighth grade entitled JPL and NASA and proudly seeing my father
in the film not once but twice! All of my classmates said, “Hey,
that’s your dad!”
Gene was a man that would always challenge himself. After retiring
from JPL after 28 years, he received a broker’s license
in real estate. He was a speed reader and an avid reader. He loved
fishing and cards. He once received a royal flush in Texas hold’em!
Gene went home to be with the Lord on December 9, 2005.
Since Gene devoted much of his life to space, it is only fitting
to honor him by placing part of his earthly body into heavenly
space. A very much loved and appreciated husband and father, grandpa
and uncle, Gene will be greatly missed!
Speaking for all of your family,
your loving daughter – Kerry