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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

REDING, Robert Joseph

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Robert Joseph "Bob" Reding and his wife, Florence

REDING, Robert Joseph. (Dubuque, IA, Mar. 5, 1936--Dubuque, IA, Nov. 21, 2019). Reding was the grandson of Joseph C. Reding and Bertha Catherine Schiel. Their children included Carroll Reding, Robert's father; Arthur Andrew Reding, and Florentine Clara Reding. Carroll Reding, Robert's father, married Mildred Hafeman. Robert's siblings included Lois Heinisch, Bonnie Neubauer, Carol Clark (deceased) and Richard Reding.

Reding began his education at Sacred Heart School. When his father, an employee of the Milwaukee Road Railroad, was transferred to Chicago, Illinois, in the mid-1940s, Bob attended St. Thomas The Apostle School. After several years, the family returned to Dubuque and Reding attended St. Mary's School.

Following the path of many others, Reding began work at an early age. In eighth grade, he obtained his first job at Mollie's Market located on the corner of 12th and Iowa. He worked every night after school until 6:00 p.m. and from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. He earned $8.00 each week. Reding attended Jefferson Junior High School (later JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL) until the age of sixteen. He quit to work at Stampfer's Department Store. At the age of nineteen, Reding began work at CARADCO. On August 19, 1960 he started work at the JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS and retired on September 1, 1988.


After retiring, Reding helped start Harbor Place Antiques. A few years later he opened Bob's Antiques and Collectibles at 3271 Central. He closed the business in 2003.

Reding and his wife, Florence, married in 1956. Their children include Robert, Jr.; Ronald, Laura, and Susan. They had nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Reding, a self-styled "buyaholic with antiquitis," began collecting Dubuque memorabilia in his twenties. Many of his prized pieces were displayed at the OLD JAIL in 2008. His collection was also the basis of Dubuque posters by Gary OLSEN.

Reding's passion for the history of Dubuque is evidenced throughout this website. As the years go by perhaps only Richard HERRMANN whose collections began the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY will be considered a peer of "Bob" Reding in the depth, quality, and quantity of material preserved for generations to come.

Poster hung in the Old Jail after Bob's highly successful display of Dubuque memorabilia in 2010.
Accompanying history of Bob's attention to Dubuque history.
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding