Wilmar "Redd" Gardner

On Saturday, August 17th Wilmar passed peacefully from this world, surrounded by his children. He was 90 years old. He was an energetic and accomplished man. Born and raised in Chicago, he received his BA from the University of Chicago. He spent a lifetime career in radio and television highlighted at the following stations; WBBM Chicago CBS Radio Sales, WHFB Heart of the Fruitbelt in Benton Harbor Michigan, KCRG an ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he was the GM and Sales Manager. After leaving KCRG Redd attempted to develop cable television in Ottumwa, Iowa, in the mid-1960's, a new concept at the time. He then moved his family to California and joined KBAK as GM and VP for Harris Broadcasting Corp. He was instrumental in placing the transmitter on Breckenridge Mt. which increased reception throughout Kern County. After more than four years in Bakersfield, Redd joined a new business partner, Bill Baily in San Diego, developing Telemart. An innovative, computer-based, telephone-shopping, grocery-opportunity, years ahead of its time. He lived the majority of his remaining years in San Diego, working in marketing sales until the age of 82. Redd spent the last four years in Seattle with children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Johann Gardner, and is survived by his eight children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, his sister Mary Elizabeth Varney, of Chicago, Ill. and her family. Redd was an amateur photographer, loved having a large family, was a lifetime Mason and Shriner, gave generously to the Red Cross and Salvation Army, was a wonderful correspondent with friends and family, and an enthusiastic supporter of the arts.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Oct. 6, 2013