DEARBORN, Michigan – When Detroit educator Romaine Redd and her husband Dion Redd, a proud graduate of the University of Michigan Dearborn and former Wayne County sheriff, retired to Florida in 1997, it was always the couple’s intention to return to Detroit. Sadly, Dion Redd passed away in 2005.
Romaine Redd kept the promise to move back to Michigan this past summer to be closer to her daughters Deidre and Donna, son-in-law Milton Thomas, granddaughter Christina and other family members. In July, she settled into a comfortable apartment at Oakwood Common, the Dearborn retirement community she discovered through an Internet search.
At first meeting, Redd’s quiet and private demeanor fails to reveal her determined and adventurous spirit.
Born to Joseph and Carrie Anthony in a house on Detroit’s Chestnut Street, Redd was among the couple’s five children who were encouraged to get an education and pursue their dreams.
“There was never any question that we wouldn’t attend college, and we all did,” said Redd, who graduated from Northern High School and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Wayne State University. “I don’t think my parents ever said ‘no’ to anything I wanted to try.”
Redd shared that she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was in fifth grade at Alger Elementary School. Working for Detroit Public Schools, Redd taught second grade for several years before becoming a reading lab teacher and later a staff coordinator at Gardner Elementary School.
Among her proudest achievements was receiving a grant from the Michigan Council of Arts that enabled students at Vernor Elementary School to receive lessons from Pewabic Pottery instructors.
“It exposed them to new opportunities,” said Redd, who also tried working with clay. “I’m always open to trying new things and visiting new places.”
Indeed, Redd has tried painting, playing the guitar, quilting and more. She has fond memories of learning to play the guitar and singing with a group of other women to entertain students.
Redd also joined a quilting group and enjoyed hand quilting even though she couldn’t quilt, adding that the group wouldn’t let her go. She appreciated the art because of the others.
Easy to talk with, Redd left behind many friends in Florida and is looking forward to renewing friendships in Detroit, including sisters in the Delta Signa Theta Sorority. It is probably no surprise to her two daughters, both busy professionals, that she has already booked a cruise next June and plans to join a travel club.
In only a short time, Redd already feels very comfortable at Oakwood Common and has considered recruiting other residents to join her and expose them to the Capuchins in Detroit, who do outstanding work for the poor.
Though open to others new adventures, Redd is usually private about her personal life, quietly revealing that another reason to return to Michigan was her health and experience with breast cancer, diagnosed in 2013.
“I’m a recent survivor, but if I can help someone else, I’m happy to share,” said Redd, being aware that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. She undoubtedly remains the educator and adventurer.
About Oakwood Common
Oakwood Common offers one and two bedroom senior living apartments located at 16351 Rotunda Drive, within a beautiful 29-acre community that includes exquisite landscaping, nature trails and scenic views along the historic Rouge River Gateway in Dearborn. Oakwood Common apartments, available with flexible payment options, offer exceptional amenities for independent living and can be readily customized. Assisted living and a comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing center are also available for those with additional needs. For more information and to arrange tours, call 800-642-466.