Donald (Red) Ellsworth Talbott
Red Talbott, 77, passed away October 10, 2014 in Medford, Ore. He was born November 16, 1936 in Sioux Falls, S.D. to Myrtle (Haslam) and Earl Talbott, joining his three sisters, Eula and Leila (residents of Oregon both now deceased) and Nellie Melow of Sioux Falls, S.D. Near the beginning of WWII, when Red was around six years old, their mother passed away, prompting Earl a retired Navy cook, to seek work out of state in Illinois and Utah, eventually returning to South Dakota. Red attended grade school and high school in Sioux Falls while working for a while on a small family farm, and at Terrace Park Dairy. He later worked service stations, car dealerships, Sioux Steel, and part-time at local bars.
Soon after his second marriage, Red moved to Minneapolis, Minn. to search for a better-paying job. He worked at John Morrell as a meat trimmer, Super Value as a shift foreman, and Gruman Steel. While learning front-end alignment at Concours Automotive, Red earned his certification at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, later working at Automobile Service where he specialized in four-wheel alignments on Porches and Vettes.
A former customer encouraged Red to relocate to Oregon, and in 1973 he moved to Medford. He worked at Nelson's Tire Warehouse, Ed's Associated Tire, Lithia Dodge, Petrol Stops NW, Golden Gate Petroleum, Beacon Oil, Crater Lake Ford, Mini Pet Mart, and the Medford Mail Tribune. While unemployed, near retirement, he earned his GED in 1995 at Rogue Community College, then his Business Associates Certificate in 1996 and in 1998 he was a certified driver's training instructor for Kent Puckett.
Red's first passion was racing cars. As a young man , he would street race for cash or "pink slips." He and his best friend built a super modified to run the dirt circle tracks in Sioux Falls. After moving to Medford, he found a friend who had also moved from Sioux Falls and together they built a race car for the track off Sage Road. Red eventually became the sole owner, and he and his wife took over the racing activity, which ended around 1979. From then on, he rarely missed watching a NASCAR race on TV.
In addition to racing, Red enjoyed riding motorcycles, bowling, shooting pool, camping, fishing, some hunting, and pistol and rifle target practice, and reloading. He also enjoyed reading, watching the History Channel, and science fiction movies. He often referred to himself as an "old farmer" drawing on the time he worked on a farm, at the Dairy, and the general characterization of coming from a smaller Midwest town.
Red is survived by his wife, Doris (Dody); their two sons, Darren and Donald; six children from his first marriage, Doug, Patricia, Brian, Greg, Suzanne, and Randy; a total of nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, November 10, 2014 in the chapel at Perl Siskiyou Memorial Park, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd. Medford, Ore.