Michael – Redkoles

(Nov 14, 1922 to Aug 8, 2009)

Michael RedkolesrnrnrnrnHis Center Square farm cultivated him long before he ever cultivated it. Michael’s life was shaped by two things: his background as a son of Russian immigrants (originally Retkoles) and the land that he farmed. As a boy he and his siblings would learn the language at school and then return home to teach it to their parents. Learning was a lifelong adventure. In his formative years he discovered the rich history of his land. It had been surrounded by an Indian Reservation. Arrow heads and ancient pottery were never more than a few steps away. It fueled his passion for learning. He never read for sheer enjoyment, he wanted a learning experience. History and biographies were his favorites.rnFarming isn’t for the shiftless. By noon he had already worked what most would call a full day. It was his tradition to eat dinner at noon and have a sandwich late in the evening. Later years found him holding court at his roadside stand, Stacey’s. rnAgrarian existence has its financial ups and downs, so he always stayed creative to make ends meet. He purchased a ten wheeler to eliminate the middle man and get his goods to market. He also learned to weld and helped build the Cmdr. Barry Bridge.rnHe was a gentlemen farmer. Within minutes of exiting a tractor he’d have on a pressed shirt and was never seen in public without a jacket and tie.rnFood was central to his existence. When he wasn’t growing it he was eating it. He loved ripe tomatoes, crabs (with Old Bay and a can of beer) and Russian dishes: Borscht, Pierogis, golumpki, and chrusciki.rnHe loved polka music and dancing (stay flat on the floor) and played the Accordion (Lady of Spain). He was often found at the Moose Club, Floodgate road and sundry basement games searching for an elusive royal flush. rnHis jitterbug caught the eye of a young lady from Gibbstown, the late Doris Golden. Their marriage lead to three children: Michael of Logan, Sandy Aker of Woolwich and Ruth Ann Bailey of Thorofare; 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Although he was never a softy, most agreed that time had made him easier on his grands and great-grands. He is also survived by his sisters Helen Grover of Arizona and Ann Data.rnCome celebrate 86 farming years Wednesday 7-9 pm and Thursday 10-11 a.m. at Daley Life Celebration Studio, where there will be a service at 11. Interment Eglington Cemetery. Floral tributes as well as donations to Vitas Hospice, 18 East Laurel Rd., 3rd Floor, Stratford NJ 08002-2098 or St. Michael‘s Russian Orthodox Church, 335 Fairmount Ave, Phila. Pa 19123 will be appreciated. Tell us a great story about Michael at Lifecelebrationstudio.com.rn

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