John Flint Redding, 90, of Framingham MA, formerly of Naples FL, passed away peacefully the morning of Wednesday, January 1, 2020. John was born in Watertown, NY on August 1, 1929, the son of the late Carl Flint Redding and the late Edith Rebecca (Hennesey) Redding. He was the husband of the late Patricia (Zile) Redding, the late Frances (Wozniak) Redding and Anne (Clark) Redding.
John grew up in Wollaston, MA, graduated from Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA and attended Marietta College in Ohio. John attended Camp O-AT-KA, a boys summer camp in Sebago, Maine, from 1938 through 1950 as a camper and staff member. The years spent and experiences gained at O-AT-KA were a major influence in his life, which fostered an enduring passion of commitment and support to the camp’s mission and legacy. He served on the Board of Directors and remained active as a Corporation member since 1962. John was a significant contributor to the enhancement of many aspects of the camp’s infrastructure, as well as an active consultant on matters relating to food service. The anticipation of his pointed questions (you knew they were coming) was a tradition at the annual July meetings. His lifetime of involvement as a “Hero” of O-AT-KA was recognized in 2016.
John was proud to serve his country. He joined the Air Force in 1950 and was stationed at Shepard Air Force Base in Texas before transferring to the Army in 1951, completing Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia as a Second Lieutenant. He received an honorable discharge in 1953. John’s career in the Food Service industry spanned over 65 years. After separation from the Army, he teamed with his father in a sales role for the Norris Milk Dispenser Company, subsequently transitioning to Sales Manager for both the Oxford Pickle division of the Cain Company and Tree Pickle in Buffalo. He worked for the Knott-Sheehan Company as the firm’s first Sales Manager in their initial foray into the Food Service business. He founded Food Service Sales in 1977 and in 1979 served as President of the Frozen Foods Association of New England. John merged Food Service Sales with the Food Enterprises division of Merkert Enterprises in 1995 to form one of the largest food brokers in the Northeast. He retired to Florida in 1997, selling his stake in the business to Merkert Enterprises and remained active post-retirement as a valued sales consultant to Westminster Cracker. John made many enduring friendships during his career and was highly respected for his industry knowledge, devoted professionalism, sales acumen and unwavering willingness to mentor.
Retirement to Florida allowed John time to pursue his passion for golf unencumbered. Though based in Naples, he traveled widely to enjoy many premier courses throughout the U.S. as well as Ireland. He played a round with family on his 90th birthday and always looked forward to traditional annual outings in Vermont with his friends and business associates to play Green Mountain and Okemo - two favorites.
John was a man of great intellectual curiosity, a voracious reader and avid book collector with a wide appreciation for all genres, but with a special affinity for history. Quick-witted and an amazing raconteur with an all-encompassing sense of humor, he loved a robust conversation, a good meal (especially Italian), was a learned counsel and a loyal friend. He will be greatly missed.
John is survived by his son, Jeffrey Redding and his wife, Judy Redding, of Marlborough MA; his granddaughter Marissa Redding of Salem, MA and grandson Tyler Redding of Milton, MA, to both of whom he was an immensely proud and ever supportive Papa, something that he was all too willing to share with friends and strangers alike.
A memorial service is being planned with date and time to be determined.
Expressions of sympathy in John’s memory may be made to Camp O-AT-KA, www.campoatka.org
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