Disease couldn’t dim Dan Reddell’s zest for life

Special to The TribuneJune 8, 2014 

Dan Reddell, owner/broker of Bayshore Realty in Morro Bay, will always be remembered for his zest for life, yet June 3 he lost his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it is an incurable, progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis and ultimately, respiratory failure.

From its onset, Reddell powered through persistent attacks to the part of his brain that directed muscle movement, while fully cognitive and powerless to reverse his decline.

He continued to go to the office daily, the Rotary Club of Morro Bay weekly and community activities on occasion, often accompanied by his brother, Dale Reddell.

He would conduct business by “talking” with his engaging smile and hand signals, or his smart phone and computer technology. He always sought a way to resolve a challenge or make it tolerable. 

Reddell graduated from Coast Union High School and Cal Poly. He founded Bayshore Realty in 1997. A vocal community advocate for business development, he was active on numerous boards including president of Morro Bay’s Harbor Festival, the Morro Bay Police Foundation, and the Rotary Club of Morro Bay.

In 2013, he was honored as Realtor of the Year by Scenic Coast Association of Realtors. Other recognitions included Morro Bay Rotarian of the Year in 1988 and Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 1987 and the chamber’s Living Treasure of the Year in 2013.

For several years, he helped Si Tennenberg distribute care boxes for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Through his office at Bayshore Realty and at Rotary meetings, he would tote packages ready to mail for those willing to take them to the post office and pay the small fee to shine a light from home for the soldiers oversees.

Instead of railing at his plight, he led the charge with his family and friends to raise over $6,700 during the San Luis Obispo Walk to Defeat ALS on April 12. In an email, Reddell credited “Janne’ and daughter Donna, Jamie Boucher and Don Hudson for their brilliant ways of raising funds.” 

In a post to www.fogcutternews.org on Nov. 5, 2013, Reddell told the story of a 1980 recall effort. He ultimately befriended one of the deposed council members, Tom Cantine.

He wrote, “I had personally served him with his recall notice. … The most memorable thing about the recall election for me was to become friends with a bitter enemy. It showed me that Morro Bay citizens may disagree, but they all have one thing in common — they love living in Morro Bay … They may disagree on what is best for Morro Bay, but they all believe in doing the best thing for our city … Working together would be working for the good of our community!”

A memorial is scheduled June 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the Morro Bay Community Center. Could it be that Reddell’s life lessons will become his community legacy?

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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