Lloyd T. Reddick 1952-2004

There are some people who come into your life and before you even realize it is happening, they change you...permanently. Such was the effect Lloyd T. Reddick, known by one and all as "LT," had on me.

I had been hired by the Robert P. Gillotte Company as their Western Regional Manager in 1986 and a couple of years later, in 1988, they finalized the three man management team by hiring LT, a native of Oklahoma who lived in Chicago, to cover the Central Region.

LT immediately impressed me (and most of the folks he met) as an easy going person with a wit and charm that put you at ease. Over the next two years, we spent a lot of time together, but after leaving Gillotte in 1990, I only saw him a handful of times again. In fact, he left the company and went to work for our largest distributor, Ellis Systems, for several years and we kept in touch.  

While we were together, though, we spent hours talking. LT really enjoyed "talking." Not just chatting about things like sports and the weather, but really getting down to the "nitty gritty" of life. He told me about serving in Vietnam and how that the experience had changed him deeply, and it showed. Behind all the bravado and humor, there was a sadness, a longing for something he had lost, that came through in the quiet times, when the gang had disappeared and the last drink had been ordered.   

Most of our time together was spent at either at trade shows or sales management meetings. Because we were the two "non plant people," (the only two employees who did not work out of Columbia) we were kindred spirits, belonging to, but not "of" the body.

I wish I could remember everything had ever told me about his life, but I can't. He had worked as a sales manager for a company called Penquin, and I think they sold office supplies like toner cartridges.

One great moment I do remember (vividly) was LT's excitement after meeting Lois, whom he would marry shortly thereafter. It definitely was a turning point in his all too short life.

L.T. went through a tough time in the late nineties. The club house of golf course for which he had been the Manager burned to the ground. He had some personal problems as well...he and Lois divorced and he had been searching for some meaning in life. He seemed to be getting his life back together as in his last email to me in January 2004 he wrote, "The past year has been a long and stressful one with my responsibilities in rebuilding the country club. But the club is open and running and life has started to settle down and there is time for reflection." He went on to talk about his desire to help young people avoid the violence which seems to have taken over our world and called on his friends to join him in doing the same (see below).  

Then on June 15th, 2004, I opened an old email from LT's username, Greyhair52. I was stunned by the message:

"It is with the deepest regret that I send you this news.  L.T. passed away this morning at approx. 7 am due to an abdominal aneurysm. 

He is to be cremated within the next day or so and a memorial service will be held at the Calvary Freewill Baptist Church in Norman, OK, presided by Mike Wade.

The service will be held Thursday morning at 10:00am at the church and we will hold the funeral at the Reddick family cemetery in Pharoah, OK next to Henryetta/Weleetka at 2:00pm.  We will have a formal 21 gun salute to honour his service and memory.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me.

Sincerely yours in the Lord

Mrs. Leena Reddick

And just like that, he was gone. I had heard from LT earlier in the year when he sent me one of his "observations" (which I have included below). Having been through some hard times in recent years, LT had found strength in his faith. However, as you can read, he was living a life full of hope and left us all too soon. 

Goodbye old friend!

Photos: (click on thumbnail for full size image)

LT's 38th Birthday, 1990

LT's 38th Birthday, 1990

L to R: Me, David, LT & Corine Hamlin in New Orleans

Me and LT in Reno, 1989

David and LT packing up in Reno, 1989


LT with Tom Hynes in 1990

LT's 38th Birthday, 1990


LT's Observation (January 7, 2004)

It has been some time since I last wrote an Observation. The past year has been a long and stressful one with my responsibilities in rebuilding the country club. But the club is open and running and life has started to settle down and there is time for reflection.

As those of you who have read my past observations I try to stay within the topic of the human condition with special emphasis on those with compulsive self-destructive tendencies. From substance abuse, drug and alcohol, to other behaviors that destroy the fabric of the addicted life those who suffer have touched my heart.

In my observations I have tried to leave political agenda's and issues aside. However during the past months Leena and I have continued to discuss and would like to share with you.

The Presidential Political season is upon us. Each week candidates vie for sound bites on the evening news broadcasts, appearances on the Sunday News shows, and trying to pick out positions that will distinguish them from the other contenders.

It happens that this election period the Republicans are in the White House and the Democrats have an abundance of candidates running in the primaries. Four years ago the Democrats were in control and the Republicans had an abundance of candidates for the White House. Whether Democrats or Republicans the party that is out of power looks for issues that will resonate with the electorate and make them frontrunners.

This election season the War on Terrorism will take front and center. The War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Global Terrorism and violence will be analyzed and debated again and again as politicians speak to their core supporters and try to persuade the 10% undecided.

Along with the Politicians, special interest groups will be wooing a candidate to advocate their positions. Gay and Lesbian groups, Seniors, Education, and of course those of us who are Christians and comprise what is called the religious right.

Abortion/Pro Life issues, homosexual marriage, and judicial appointments will be the central themes if this is like recent elections. There will be a few other issues creep up to join the standard positions.

But center stage will be the War on Terrorism and how best to fight it.

No American, in fact most of the world, can easily forget the horrific events of September 11 when 2,742 innocent victims were horribly murdered by the terrorist. The vision of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center is permanently stamped into the memory banks of us all. The ongoing stories of bravery and courage of the fire fighters, police, and other emergency workers have touched each of us.

With genuine pride Americans have supported the bravery and sacrifice of our military men and women who have fought in foreign lands. Americans have willingly given up some of our civil rights to insure the safety of our country and citizens. Billions of dollars have been spent and will continue to be spent in defense of America and the world from terrorist.

2,742 human beings were murdered that day. The question is what of the terror that happens each year to over 5,000 teenagers from the age of 14 to 18 who are murdered. This is not a single one-time event but a yearly destruction of twice as many who died on September 11. In the past decade almost as many teenagers from 14 to 18 were murdered as were killed during the Viet Nam War.

This is not a left wing or right wing issue, liberal or conservative. It does not belong to the Republicans or the Democrats. For now the issue belongs to the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles of the murder victims. It belongs to the local law enforcement agencies that try and solve them. And it belongs to over 5,000 teenagers who face their own personal terror.

If those numbers shock us, the statistics get worse. The next age group, 19-25 has almost identical numbers, over 5,000 per year.  Murder is the leading cause of death in both these age groups.  (All statistics are from the CDC in Atlanta GA)

When Leena and I started this discussion a few weeks ago neither of us had any idea of where to go with the topic. Neither Leena nor I are sociologist, criminologists, or social constructionists. But we both felt that somehow this should be part of the political debate and treated as a significant moral issue for our country.

For those of us who embrace Christianity as our faith the story of the Good Samaritan speaks to us about involving ourselves in the moral and spiritual battle against the violence our country inflicts on our children and young adults.

When Christ was questioned about how to inherit eternal life he asked the young man what is written in the Law, how do you read it. The young man answered, "to love the Lord your God with all our hearts, and with all your soul and with all your strength and all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself."

Christ told him that he had answered well. The young expert in the law seeking to justify himself then asked who is my neighbor. The answer Jesus gave was not what the expert expected. Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan. That in essence our neighbor is anyone who is need or distress that we can help. Even if he/she is our enemy as the Samarians were at the time to the Jews.  And if we can offer assistance in any form that is how we show that we love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our country is full of teenagers and young adults who are in distress and danger from the violence inflicted on them. While Leena and I do not have answers to this moral terrorism we both believe it needs to be at least talked about in our churches, our schools, our political debate and dialogue.

To that end we simply ask you to do two things that will take just a few moments. One is to forward this email to your email list and hopefully that will spark conversation and dialogue.

Secondly it takes just a few moments to send an email to your congressional delegation. Listed below is a directory of congress members and their email address. If enough citizens ask their governmental leaders to at least bring this terrorism and violence into our national dialogue they will eventually respond.


A Tribute to a Friend


L.T. left town the other day

before I had a chance to say

how much the Lord had used him in my life.

I hope he knew.


He touched my life with honesty

admitting he was not yet free

of struggles that would bend his knees in prayer.

He leaned on God.


In April Nineteen Fifty-Two

as newborns we would both debut.

But there was much more that we shared than that.

We shared great times.


I was his pastor for awhile

and counted on his knowing smile

that said he understood what clergy face.

His dad was one.


And though he left town bound for God,

I'm hurting so and it seems odd

that he will not be e-mailing me soon.

I miss my friend.


by Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos


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