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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wendell Redden, 77, former longtime sports editor of the Joplin Globe, died Thursday night at his home after a long illness.

He was born Oct. 26, 1933 in Fort Scott, Kan., to Bill and Myrtle Redden. He grew up in Fort Scott and Pittsburg, Kan., before moving to Joplin.

He graduated in 1951 from Joplin High School.

He began working for the sports department at the Joplin Globe in 1950 while he was a junior in high school then was hired in 1951 as an assistant sports editor to sports editor Porter Whittich. He assumed sports editor duties for the Globe in 1952 when Mr. Whittich moved to the afternoon paper.

During his newspaper career, he covered events including the opening game of the Kansas City Athletics season in 1955 when the team moved from Philadelphia, the Arkansas-Texas football game for the national championship in 1969, many Big Eight Conference football games at Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, in addition to Southwest Conference games at Arkansas, participated in the Big Eight Conference Skywriters tour of football camps for 10 years, interviewing many players who went on to professional careers, covered Missouri Southern's national championship football team in 1972, and covered several Joplin High School, (Parkwood and Memorial) championship teams.

After his retirement from the Globe in 1996, he worked for the Sports Information Department at Missouri Southern, where he helped produce several award-winning football and basketball press guides.

He also announced MSSU baseball games at Joe Becker Stadium.

He was tournament director for Golden Gloves, for years he was involved with the Pee Wee baseball school and he coached youth baseball. He was president of the board of the Joplin Boys Club, a Special Olympics volunteer and a founding member of the Joplin Sports Authority. He was a member of Byers Avenue United Methodist Church where he served on several church boards, sang in the choir and volunteered as a Sunday School teacher.

He received many honors including the Man and Boy Award from Boy's Clubs of America, was named Optimist of the Year by the Noonday Optimist Club of Joplin, was a member of the Missouri and Joplin Bowling Hall of Fame, the Missouri Southern Athletic Hall of Fame, the Joplin Sports Hall of Fame and the MSSU Regional Media Hall of Fame. He won two Joplin singles titles in bowling, won A Flight in the Ozark Amateur golf tournament, received proclamations from the Missouri General Assembly for his accomplishments in the community and work in the newspaper industry, and won a number of writing awards. Redden Field in Joplin is named in his honor.

He is married to the former Susan Roudybush, a news reporter for the Joplin Globe.

He has two sons, William Redden and wife Karen, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Tim Redden and wife Janice, Carl Junction, grandsons Spencer Redden and Parker Redden, granddaughter Katie Redden and great-grandchild, Noah Redden, sister Dixie Block and husband Rex, Joplin City; and foster sister Dollie Cowen and husband Ernie, Harrison, Ark.

Services were held at 11 a.m. Monday at Byers Avenue United Methodist Church. The family received friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Parker Mortuary.

Memorial contributions may be made to Byers Avenue United Methodist Church.