January 30,1939 - November 14,2008
"What a wonderful world it would be if more people were like Jim"
James was born in Pike County, Missouri on January 30, 1939, the son of Herbert and Velma Jessup Redhage and
they preceded him in death.  James was raised and lived in the Bowling Green area all of his life where he graduated
from Bowling Green High School in 1956.  He then furthered his education graduating from Culver Stockton College
with a degree in Business Administration.  He worked for Carnation Milk Company for a short time before beginning
with Abel Oil Company in October of 1962.  Mr. Redhage held several positions through his 45 years of service to
the company including bookkeeping, operations and general manager before being named President of Abel Oil
Company in December of 1986, a position he currently held.  James enjoyed outdoor activities like fishing, camping
and gardening.  He also enjoyed going to air shows and had a license as an amateur radio operator which he
enjoyed.  James loved animals of all kinds and was very supportive of organizations that cared for animals.  He
especially loved his dogs Red and Pepper and is survived by his faithful companion Pepper II.  He is also survived by
his family at Abel Oil Co., several cousins and many friends.  

In Memory of James H. Redhage
Reminiscing with Ed Miller
When I think of Jim these words come to mind;
Mentor and Leader
Humbleness and Honesty
Neatness and Order
Humanitarian and Kindness to animals
Jim was all of the above and still he possessed a unique sense of humor.
A typical Monday morning at Abel Oil Co., it was customary for Jim to conduct an office business meeting.  That
meeting always began with donation requests.  Charity and civic concerns were at the top of the list.  Jim always
wanted money to be disbursed where it would help the most.  Jim was always appreciative of company employees
who were involved with civic organizations, charity work, floats, parades, rodeos and many other events.  He always
took note when an employee was recognized by the community for a job well done.  Jim always took pride when one
of our stores was selected as landscaping or lawn of the month by their respective communities.  
Jim was always there to lead us through the fires, floods, unforeseen accidents at our stores and the passing others
who meant so very much to Abel Oil Company.  Jim never used the words I or me when the company received
awards for excellence from Shell or anyone else; He would simply say can we do it again.  He kept model replicas of
airplanes, trains trucks and other items of promotions of the past.  Jim kept pictures of various trains and enjoyed
reading and speaking about their history.  
Jim lived a solitary life but kept busy reading, gardening and caring for the wild creatures visiting his year.  He loved
and cared for his pet dogs.  They were his partners at home.  In Jim’s office you would see pictures of his dogs, of
the squirrels, birds and deer feeding in his yard.
Integrity and leadership were two of Jim’s greatest attributes.  When you walked into his office without a word being
spoken you immediately knew who was in charge.  Jim was very humble about his title and responsibility; but was
ever so firm in his commitment to fulfill them both. Jim always had a keen eye for things we would often overlook at
the stores.  He noticed the ceiling, cooler and canopy lights which were burned out or not working.  Weeds in the
landscaping or trees with bag worms.  He kept his office immaculate; always vacuuming the floors, cleaning the
doors and taking out the trash.  You see even though Jim H Redhage was president of Abel Oil Company there was
no job that he felt he was too good for.  Jim thank you for making Abel Oil Company a successful business
Click here to submit your memory of Jim

Diane Todd (Abel's Office) - Jim was very soft spoken and kind.  However, when Jim spoke he was heard and with
the utmost respect.  I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Jim, but most of all I appreciate that
I had the chance to know him as a person.  Jim had a kindness for animals and nature that will never be forgotten.  
What a wonderful world it would be if more people were like Jim.  

David Cadwallader (Abel's Office) - A kind of funny story about JIm. Even though he really liked kids, they made him
nervous. I had my 2 year old son Brendan, who is now 17, go into his office as I stood back and listened. My son
really liked all the Shell trains, cars, and trucks that Jim had in his office. I could hear  Jim talking to him, but could
not make out what he was saying. Then finally,  in a little louder voice Jim said go ahead and take any of them you
want.  My son comes walking out of Jim's office with a small model of a Shell station. I took the model from him, went
in to Jim's office and told him my son had the station.  Jim smiled and said, It was the only way I could get him to
leave.  I will sure miss that funny side of Jim.

John Koen (Shell Rep) – Although Jim did not stutter he had cadenced voice that I will always remember.  Twenty
years ago, when I first became the Shell Representative for Abel Oil Company I recall a story that will always bring a
smile to my face. I had only been Abel Oil Companies rep for about a month.  Shell had a promotion going on with
“Looney Tunes”.   Shell always had competitions to see which rep’s territory would have the highest volume on
promoted items.  My territory needed to sell four more cases to beat the Michigan territory.  I explained the situation
to Jim and ask for his help.  Jim replied, “Well John we are pretty well fixed for Looney Tunes."   I asked Jim how the
Looney Tune Road Runner figurine was doing that I had given him on my last visit to his office.  Jim said: “Well John
he will not stand up, he keeps falling over.  I replied does he fall forward or backward."  Jim said:  "He falls forward
and lands on his beak."  I said "Jim I have one and it keeps falling backward, maybe we could link the two together
and they will stand up straight." Jim replied without any hesitation in his cadenced voice:  "Well, John send me four
more cases."   Five days later, I received a note from the desk of Jim Redhage:  Dear John since we last talked we
have improved on our Looney Tune situation and we will need more POS material.I have many fond memories of
Jim. Thanks for the memories.  I miss you very much!  John

Carol Reading (Hannibal Store) - I am one of the old timers with Abel’s, 25 years!  At the time I interviewed, Jim was
doing the hiring.  I started working in Bowling Green and since Jim lived in rural Bowling Green, I had the opportunity
to see him in the store frequently.  On Saturdays, he would bring Red along so I got visit with him too.  I always found
Jim to be completely fair and honest.  You could always rely on him to see that all problems were quickly taken care
of.  Abel Oil Company grew and prospered under Jim’s leadership.  He led us in such a way that I always felt Abel’s
was my work family.  When I went to visit Jim in intensive care the nurse asked if I was family and I said no, but
actually, yes I am.  I am part of his work family.  I think Jim treasured his work family as much as we all treasured him.  
I am so lucky to have known him and worked with him.