John Douglas Redmond

john redmond

John Redmond, born in Wilmington, Delaware arrived in Englewood, Colorado at a young age where he stayed and would call Colorado home until his passing.  He and his sister Eileen (Mosley), who passed years ago, were raised by their grandmother and father.  
John is survived by his wife Sally, whom he met at Englewood High School.  They shared nearly sixty-one years together, having two children - Shelley (a nurse by training, now working at an insurance company) and Keith (a CPA by training, now consulting for various companies).  Shelley (Chism) resides in Littleton, CO, Keith in the Las Vegas, NV area with his wife Paula.  Shelley and her husband Lynn have two children – Nick and Michael, who have affectionately known their grandpa as “Big G” over the years, and especially enjoyed the traditional (late night) New Year’s Eve football game in John’s back yard every year.  
John spent two years at Colorado State University (or Colorado A&M as it was known then) but returned to Englewood to marry his high school sweetheart and begin a career with Gates Rubber Company.  He would remain at Gates until retiring at age 66 as a Project Design Engineer, his career culminating with several patents on the poly-chain belt drive for motorcycle drive-chains (the Harley Davidson belt drive most notably).  


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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Sally and Family,  Sam and I were so sorry to hear of John's passing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you. With Love, Sam and Barbara Lozano

  2. John and I have been fast friends from that first day we met in August 1964 up in the Polyflex belt department on the 4th floor of unit 20.  Sometimes in life you meet folks with whom you just feel close from the first moment and he was one.  He helped me over and over those first years as we struggled through the development of the urethane v belt called Polyflex, the snowmobile track called Polytrac and finally the big success of them all the Polychain.  
    It was the latter, the Polychain belt that went on to become the motorcycle drive that now in 2018 dominates, the market and fills Gates pockets with hundreds of millions each year.  Even now, 40 years later, nobody in the world has been able to build a belt like it and Gates still maintains complete control of the market; and few folks know how it all came about.  
    The real battle in a major development of that kind was not the chemical and physical requirements of the product, it was convincing the managements of both Gates and Harley Davidson that this product could replace the heavy steel chain on the motorcycle drive.  
    We had people in both companies actively working against the new belt, but we also had allies in Charles Gates, Ben Duke, Willie G Davidson and others, and we won that battle. Today John's belt drives all the big motorcycles in the world and every time I see one, I remember those years of toil and sweat and creativity he and Jim Lane, and Jesse Whala (both deceased) contributed.  
    We shared a friendship and mild rivalry over golf for all those decades and even though he claims to never having beat me at golf, somehow, he ended up with most of the money we bet.  During the motorcycle years we encountered all kinds of experiences from California to Sturgis SD. We sat by the side of the road in the rain fixing the electrical system on a Sportster.  A sheriff came by and helped us with his headlights and an umbrella.  We met an unbelievable stream of odd characters during those years; all of whom have passed on.  
    When I hear the THRUMMM of a Harley, I remember those old days when we were both young, the struggles we endured, and the memories we created.  Don McComber    

  3. Sally, I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I worked closely with John in the early 90s and always enjoyed his special brand of humor. I hope you and your family are doing OK. Please let the Gates people know if there will be a memorial service. Mike Murphy  

  4. While I never had a chance to meet John's family I want you to know what a great guy John was.  I knew him while I worked at Gates.  I left in 1994.  He was a great guy. Always fun to be with.  While I had a lot of fun and excitement doing what I was able to do engineering hose I always envied him for being able to work with motorcycles those last few years.  My love and best wishes to you all. 

  5. I first met John in 2003, at our first golf outing to Mesquite, NV, along with Keith and Chuck.  I'll never forget our first conversation, over breakfast the first morning at The Purple Fez.
    All my thoughts are with you and your family….take care.

  6. Worked as a technical assistant for John for about 5 years at Gates Rubber Co on the Polychain project. Down to earth type of person. He also was a very hard working and intelligent individual. 

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