A Lifetime Jayhawk, Anthony “Tony” Redwood died peacefully surrounded by family on April 28th in Alamo, California.
Born January 4, 1935, in Brisbane Australia to Kevin Leo Redwood and Winifred Doreen Johnson, he completed high school at St. Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace and started his adventures as a Patrol Officer in Papua New Guinea (serving in the Eastern Highlands, Central, Sepik and Bougainville Districts). This was an incredible experience for a young man, and he saw his mates on every subsequent visit to Australia; men who shared a kindred spirit.
He met Mary “Mollie” Redwood on a cruise to Hong Kong when she was traveling around the world as a registered nurse. They were married three months later and started their new life together in Buin, Papua New Guinea.
He continued his education receiving a Diploma of Public Administration (1964), a Bachelor in Economics (1965), and a Bachelor of Commerce (1968) from the University of Queensland. He then transitioned to a career in economics in the Papua New Guinea Department of Labour.
After having three girls – Karen, Michelle and Fiona – Mollie and Tony moved to the United States for Tony to earn his Masters in Labor & Employment Relations and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His first position was as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. So began his love of the University and of Kansas.
There was a short break from 1974-1976 when he took a position as the Assistant Secretary, Manpower & Economic Policy in the Australian government and the family moved to Melbourne, Australia. Then he returned to KU until his retirement in 1999 as Professor of Business Emeritus. Among his proudest achievements were his teaching awards, the economic development strategy for the State of Kansas developed with his colleague Charles Krider, service on the KU Athletic Board and being selected Kansan of the Year (inaugural awardee) by Kansas magazine in 1986.
He had a lifetime joy of sports whether in high school where he played multiple sports, as a rugby referee in Papua New Guinea, as a runner with the Mad Dogs and as a lifetime golfer. He was so proud of completing the KU marathon under 4 hours in 1976.
After retiring from KU, Tony and Mollie moved to Eagle Creek Country Club in Naples, Florida and he kicked off another career as a Federal Arbitrator. He retired in 2019 and received notification that none of his 150+ cases had been challenged.
Tony was truly Australian in his love for his mates and how he valued friendship. Geography had no bounds on his Friday night get-togethers whether it was in Lawrence with other professors, Book club in Naples with his golf buddies or with his new friends in California at a local craft brewery. He was a great storyteller. Whether it was seeing Bill Clinton at St. Andrews or just picking up the grandkids from school. There was always a story to be shared and laughter to ensue.
In 2020 (thanks to Covid) Tony and Mollie were finally enticed to move to California to live with Karen, Fiona and the grandkids. The last 3 years of his life were all about family and friends – celebrating special times like Brynna’s graduation from Macalester College, playing golf with Karen & McKenna, wine tasting with friends, and local travel.
In addition to Mollie, he leaves his sister, Denise Redwood; his daughters’ Karen Redwood, Michelle Davis and Fiona Redwood; and grandchildren Brynna Davis, McKenna Redwood and Mason Redwood. He joins his beloved grandson, Nathan Davis in heaven.
“And when we say goodbye to you, don’t mourn us when we go.
The Big D.C. will call us too, and this of course we know.
The last Patrol will take us all, along that well worn track,
But the difference for this final call, is that we won’t be coming back.
So our passing should not cause you pain, it’s not sad for us to die,
For we will all soon meet again, in that Patrol Post in the Sky.”
– Reprinted from Una Voce, June 2004
A memorial service will be held on August 12th at the St. Lawrence Catholic Center, Lawrence, Kansas. Happy Hour to convene afterwards.
Messages & Condolences
Tony was one of the first faculty members I met at the KU School of Business during my 25 years working with students. He was a great mentor to students, told amazingly entertaining stories, and loved to laugh. He will be missed by all!
Best KU office mate, running partner, mentor and friend. Tony was a true KU icon. I can’t think of KU without thinking of Tony. I don’t think that KU is the same place without Tony.
One of my favorite professors in the KU MBA program in 1974. Really brought real world experience and understanding to the classroom. Very interesting lecturer who I would have liked to have known better outside of class. One of the best!