Paul C Redden, known as “Uncle Paul” or “Pauley” to many, went to drive the big dozer in Heaven on April 27. Paul celebrated his 91st birthday on Nov. 22, 2018, surrounded by his Crested Butte “family.”
The Crested Butte community served as his home since the late 1960s. He lived by himself until this past winter, walking 23 blocks every morning to have breakfast at the Gas Café. He loved to build roads, play a game of pool, go fishing in the Taylor Reservoir and surrounding streams, and donate his time and equipment to bar-b-que for many a community event. As described by some of his neighbors, “he was a man of dignity, patriotism, respect, kindness, values, laughter, and hard work.”
Another Crested Butte friend wrote, “One of the community contributions he made…was his five-plus years helping raise money for the Junior Nordic team in Crested Butte. We never asked him except for the first time if we could use his big old BBQ grill to cook brats and corn. He would just hook it up to his truck and show up on the Fourth to help make the grilling a whole lot faster and more efficient. He had no real connection to crosscountry skiing. All he knew was that a bunch of kids would get some financial help for their sport. He did NOT go home once the grill was in place. He just patiently sat there without saying a word, flippin’ brats and corn all day. It was a hot job and of course he got all the Dr. Pepper he wanted.”
There are many other stories being recalled, including cars crushed in the Crested Butte ski area parking lot, electric lines pulled down in Crested Butte and Gunnison from a dump box inadvertently left in the air, and wild rides off the mountain while sitting on the battery box of a dozer. Paul could build a road or dig a ditch by the seat of his pants and it would be on grade.
Paul was born Nov. 22, 1927 to William and Agnes Redden. Paul grew up on the Redden Ranch on Taylor River, then moved to the Redden Ranch on Ohio Creek with his family in 1946. Paul served in the Army Corp of Engineers, with a tour in Germany and Austria following World War II. He returned to the Gunnison area and started his own dozer service.
The early roads on the Crested Butte Ski Area, and paths for many of the lifts were constructed by Paul, along with many of the roads for Crested Butte area housing developments. The road to the Devil’s Punch Bowl also has Paul’s signature work on it. Paul was preceded in death by his mother and father and brothers Thomas Redden and Wilbur Redden. He is survived by his sister Margaret Lankford of Albany, Wyo., and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He is also survived by many of his close friends who looked out for him all these years– Rudy and Lois Rozman, John and Ruth Gallowich, Pat and Jordan O’Neill and family, and Barb Hammond.
A celebration of Paul’s life is planned for early June in Crested Butte. A memory from Paul’s nephew Brett Redden says it best: “I will always remember there were the three ways of doing something, the right way, the wrong way and the REDDEN WAY. So long Uncle Paul!”