By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — A long-time crafter, 85-year-old Ramona Redman likes to keep her hands busy.
“I’ve done a lot of stitches over the years,” Ramona said.
Born and raised in Lyons, Ramona graduated from Lyons High School in 1946 and started working at the Northwestern Bell telephone company, first as an operator and later as a supervisor. She worked there until she married her husband in 1951.
Not one to sit still, she also worked as a food demonstrator for the Eagles Food store. She and her husband had five children — three girls and two boys.
Throughout the years, Ramona has done a variety of crafts. While pregnant with one of her sons, she started knitting. Even at 85, she continues knitting each week at the Ericksen Community Center.
Ramona also has needle tatted, handcrafting durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops, for years. She said this is a lost art. A person visiting her home can see some of the various tatting projects she has made, including a variety of Christmas ornaments.
“I dabble in so many different things,” Ramona said.
A large photo album contains images of many of her craft projects. For a while she spent time quilling. This is a three-dimension style of artwork, which uses the layering of photographs to make an image literally pop out of a canvas. Years ago, she also took a wood-carving class.
For at least 20 years, she also has used her artistic talent to benefit the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center. A friend of Theo Smith, Ramona began helping when Smith started the children’s program in the basement of the Van Allen building. For years, she painted children’s faces and hands at Discovery Center events, creating her own cardboard guides of images children could choose from.
Ramona also has ushered for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre and was involved with the art center. She is a member of the Wa-tan-ye Club. Ramona intends to remain active, having just renewed her driver’s licence. She has 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She loves to bake cookies for them.