Walter Francis Reddy Nina Genevieve Reddy
Born: May 13, 1891 Born: October 2, 1896
Died: March 9, 1972 Died: April 4, 1985

Walter and Nina Reddy of East Lansing, Michigan, purchased several lots in the Felker's Lake Shore Development in 1942 by Quit Claim from two colleagues for "one dollar & other good and valuable considerations". Walter subsequently built the first Felker's Subdivision cottage and took an active part in its development. Walter and Nina are Dorothy Otto's parents. Dorothy, with her husband Tom, continues to live in the second Felker's home built by Walter and Nina.

Written by: Dorothy Otto
Edited by: John Shack 05/20/08

Walter Reddy had one brother, Charles Reddy, and two sisters, Winnie and Elsie. When about ten years of age their mother died and, because their father was unable to care for them, the children were divided. Winnie went to live with an aunt. Elsie was adopted by a wealthy family. Walter and Charles were kept together and lived with relatives. All four children kept in touch and eventually achieved in significant careers.

Winnie went to Platteville Normal (now the University of Wisconsin-Platteville) and became a physical education teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. Charles received his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Iowa and became nationally known for his expertise developing disease-free corn. Walter attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and passed the bar in Wisconsin. In 1918, when Charles was in the Army, Walter was mistakenly called instead of Charles to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Science (MSC now MSU) to help eliminate the barberry stem rust blight on Michigan wheat. Walter was deferred from the Armed Services as his weight never exceeded 98 pounds. His involvement at MSC allowed him to meet and marry Nina, an MSC student, in 1920.

Walter went on to study and sit for the Michigan Bar, being accepted in 1921. His first jobs included serving as Director of the State Board of Tax Examination and Director of the Gasoline Division in the Secretary of State's office. He subsequently became Michigan's Deputy Revenue Commissioner from 1942-1962.

In 1941 one of the auditors who worked with Walter offered him some property in Douglas which he had bought in an unpaid tax foreclosure. He sold Walter several parcels of what was the Felker's farm for "one dollar and other good and valuable considerations". Walter then hired a builder from Lansing, Arnold Fedewa, to construct the first family cottage in the subdivision at Second and May Streets. Walter originally assumed that the cottage would be for occasional weekend use. His wife and children, however, loved the area so much that they packed up when school in Lansing ended and remained until school reopened. A small but interesting out building was subsequently built on the property west of the cottage as an extra sleeping space for guests.

Dorothy remembers sleeping in this tiny cabin with her sister, Patty, during their teens. If they were out with friends in the evening, their mother required that they snap a line that ran between the main cottage and the cabin to make a noise to alert her to their safe return. More often one sister would return home at the required hour to snap the line and then sneak back to the beach party to join her sister. As of 2008 both the cottage and side cabin remain intact on the property as a popular rental.

In 1949 Walter decided to bring Arnold Fedewa back up to the subdivision to build his family a larger home on the corner of 1st and May. Walter spent all his summer weekends and vacations in Douglas and helped to form the Lake Shore Association together with Ben Eddy and others.

When Walter retired, he and Nina moved full time into this more substantial home and enjoyed the area for many more years. The house was expanded by Dorothy and her husband, Tom Otto, when they eventually were willed the house. The other lots which Walter originally purchased were willed to his daughter Patty and son Jack.

Dorothy remembers her father to have a "deep love for his family, an outstanding sense of humor, and a ready willingness to share his great intelligence to help others". "The world is a better place because of Walter Reddy. I was blessed to be his daughter", reports Dorothy.