Interview by Mariah Jessen

Georgia Redding

Georgia Redding is an 87-year-old strong willed, funny, and compassionate woman that was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. She attended high school as everyone else did and her favorite subject was, and still is, algebra.

She met her husband while out with a group of friends and they visited for a while before he asked her out. He was stationed in Fort Crook and they were in contact quite frequently before they finally got married. His name was Byron John Dunning but most people called him “Barney.” He had always wanted to open a bar and that’s how Barney’s Bar in Decatur came to be.

After leaving Grand Island in 1959 and opening up their own business, this small town couple decided to become parents of 11 kids; Michaela (62), Georgann (61), Jack (60), Tom (60), Kim (58), Sean (57), Marie (51), Marty (49), Kevin (58), Jerry (55), and Terry (55). Having this many kids kept their hands full most of the time. After Barney died, life was very hard for Georgia. Raising 11 kids and running a business by herself was not an easy task. Thankfully, the people of Decatur helped Georgia with anything she needed, although, she earned everything that she had by herself and supported herself and her children. Facing the hardships that she had to endure, a light came into her life: she met Charlie Redding. “He was always around,” Georgia said. I asked how she might have described him and she responded with, “He was like a farmer bachelor.”

After long, she sold the bar and worked in finance. When I asked her what the best part of her life was, she answered, “Marrying Charlie.” Their relationship to me is like a perfect love story. She was also very enthusiastic about sports as well as anything else involving her family.

In her spare time she likes to do crossword puzzles and read books. Back when she was younger she didn’t have any time to really do anything because she was working about 16 hours a day. Essentially there was no time for hobbies, as running the bar and raising the kids consumed most of her time. However, she did enjoy watching her kids play sports. When she was in high school there were no girl sports, so watching her girls get to play was something that made her very proud. Knowing that her kids get to do something that she didn’t brings her joy and excitement.

Georgia Redding overall is a phenomenal woman that has had to endure many things in her life. With her strength, stubbornness, and family to keep her going there was nothing that could have kept her from being where she is at now. She has eleven kids, eighteen grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren, for a total of forty-six. Georgia wouldn’t change the life that she has for anything else in the world. Georgia is truly a lady near and dear to both my heart and the hearts of many others.

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