OBITUARY

R. Earl Redfern

June 30, 1954June 4, 2019

Earl Redfern died suddenly on Tuesday in Raleigh while driving with his beloved dogs to Starbucks for a morning coffee. A true servant leader, Earl will be remembered for his tireless, faithful service to his family, friends, neighbors, church, colleagues and clients. His life was shared devotedly for 36 years with his wife, Carolyn Grentz Redfern. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Claire Redfern of Arlington, Virginia.

Earl was born in Raleigh to loving and supportive parents, the late Sybil Dameron Redfern and Robert B. Redfern. He graduated from Needham Broughton High School and UNC-Chapel Hill where he played JV basketball. His friends from the old days at UNC’s Woollen Gym and the Raleigh YMCA were envious of his soft, fall-away jump shot and lightning quick hands on the boards. Earl loved the camaraderie of a team, the thrill of a Carolina Hurricanes game and the fellowship of a golf outing.

He played and enjoyed sports as he lived his life—with fierce tenacity and unselfish enthusiasm.

After graduation, Earl began his career of four decades in the financial services industry, initially as an agent and District Manager with the Equitable Life Assurance Society. After working to earn the CLU, ChFC and CLTC designations, he continued his career as an Independent Financial Advisor.

Earl’s faith was central in his life, and the anchor and wellspring of his selfless devotion to others. He was a longtime member of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church and its JOY class, where he was always ready to lead a beach trip or basketball tournament. Earl was also a leader of the Men’s Monday Night Bible Study at Providence Baptist Church.

His wide and diverse circle of friends attest to the countless acts of care and generosity that he somehow always made his top priority. Earl was humble, gracious and full of good humor. He radiated kindness and good cheer. With a contagious laugh and a twinkle in his eye, he lightened the load of all those in his life who faced challenges—always with thoughtful, heartfelt words of affirmation and optimism.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh. The family will receive friends at the church after the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Samaritan’s Purse.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary’s Street Raleigh, NC.

  • DONATIONS

  • Samaritan's Purse

Services

  • Memorial Service with Reception to Follow Thursday, June 13, 2019

Memories

R. Earl Redfern

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Tom West

June 13, 2019

Earl was a great friend in Boy Scouts (Troop 357), junior high at Martin, high school at Broughton and at Carolina. We didn't see each other often after our freshman year in college, but I remember him as an unfailingly loyal friend. Earl was always upbeat and positive, and supportive. He had a winning smile and laugh and a great sense of humor; but also could quickly turn to being serious when he needed to or you needed his wise counsel. We shared great times, particularly in the Broughton Ensemble and during the spring musicals our junior and senior year. Rest in Peace my friend.
Tommy West

James, "Hoss" Tart

June 12, 2019

My sincere sympathy and condolences go out to Earl's family. I just learned of his passing today and have many fond memories of Earl at Granville Towers and the great times we had playing basketball at Wollen Gym. It seems just a short time ago, that I remember him speeding around the parking lot of Granville in his Fiat Spyder with the top down. He was a great friend and competitor with an inspiring zeal for life and he truly will be missed

Jim Trull

June 11, 2019

I had the good fortune to meet Earl when we served on the board of directors of the Raleigh Life Underwriters during the 80’s and 90’s. Earl was very active in that organization and a was tireless servant to the group. I admired the job that Earl did as the leader of the group and we had some great times attending the state convention. Many years later I came to know Earl better as he joined our financial planning practice when he went independent. I had the opportunity to do joint work with Earl and he quickly impressed me with how much he cared for his clients and always wanted to do the right thing for them. He was someone who was easy to like. Earl was easy going and always had a nice warm smile. When I moved my office to Cary many years ago I didn’t see Earl as often but when we crossed paths he greeted me with a kind word and that sparkle he had in his eyes. I am glad I got to know Earl and I know that in his life he made a lasting impact on his clients, friends and co-workers. My heart goes out to you Carolyn. My prayers are with you and the family.

Bob and Dottie Haynes

June 10, 2019

Dear Carolyn,
We were incredibly blessed to call Earl “friend” and more importantly brother. Earl was so special and kind to Dottie’s mother, Mary Jo. They loved to share stories about his father and Mt. Croghan.

Earl was a faithful servant in the Monday Night Bible Study at Providence Baptist Church by keeping the men group leaders informed of the various prayer requests, among many other things. At the end of each email he included encouragement for all of us:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
----------------------------------------
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Although our hearts are heavy and very sad, our prayer is that you will find peace in these words from scripture that Earl was so faithful to share. Much love.

Gary Seiler

June 9, 2019

Carolyn,

I am so sorry for your loss. In my family, when someone does a good deed or action we often say, "nice job, you are making the Lord smile". Sounds like the Lord almost got tired of smiling at Earl over the years!
God's blessings and peace to all of you!

Saxon Scarborough

June 8, 2019

The warmth, enthusiasm, humor, self-giving, affirmation, musical and athletic talent which Earl had and which are described so well in his obituary were on full display even in our school days at Martin and Broughton. Earl was truly a friend to all. My sincerest sympathy and condolences to his family.

Clevie Evans

June 8, 2019

I had the pleasure of singing with Earl in the Needham Broughton High School Ensemble. Earl always sang with such joy, the same way he lived his life. High school could be intimidating, but Earl was one of those people whose presence just made you instantly feel accepted, appreciated, and you could enjoy yourself. As I read through the comments , he obviously impacted all who knew him. Well done my brother.

Wes Minton

June 8, 2019

Earl was quite the gentleman and a wonderful example for all of us! As I see it, He was a 1st teamer on the All Time YMCA Basketball team and did it with class and humility! He was always a fierce competitor and teammate that you wanted on the signup sheet. Earl lived life to the fullest and had to be one of Coach McLean’s favorites. We have all been blessed to know Earl and as the saying goes, “ Well done Good and Faithful Servant!!” May Earl Rest In Peace!!❤️
Wes Minton

Marilyn Singleton Horton

June 7, 2019

Dear Carolyn my heart goes out to you. Know this was not in your plans. Mary Claire I am grieving with you. Earl was a light. Always felt better after being around him. Extraordinary man. He will be so missed, as he already is. I was around him when he was newborn., and came to take care of Big sister Mary Claire so Parents could care for Earl. I was 15. I am so proud he was in our family, and sorry he left here too soon for us. They needed him and his light. All prayers for future guidance in life.

Dan Stefureac

June 7, 2019

Earl was truly one of the the good guys!
We are all better people for having known him. Keep smiling buddy!

Biography

Earl Redfern died suddenly on Tuesday in Raleigh while driving with his beloved dogs to Starbucks for a morning coffee. A true servant leader, Earl will be remembered for his tireless, faithful service to his family, friends, neighbors, church, colleagues and clients. His life was shared devotedly for 36 years with his wife, Carolyn Grentz Redfern. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Claire Redfern of Arlington, Virginia.

Earl was born in Raleigh to loving and supportive parents, the late Sybil Dameron Redfern and Robert B. Redfern. He graduated from Needham Broughton High School and UNC-Chapel Hill where he played JV basketball. His friends from the old days at UNC’s Woollen Gym and the Raleigh YMCA were envious of his soft, fall-away jump shot and lightning quick hands on the boards. Earl loved the camaraderie of a team, the thrill of a Carolina Hurricanes game and the fellowship of a golf outing.

He played and enjoyed sports as he lived his life—with fierce tenacity and unselfish enthusiasm.

After graduation, Earl began his career of four decades in the financial services industry, initially as an agent and District Manager with the Equitable Life Assurance Society. After working to earn the CLU, ChFC and CLTC designations, he continued his career as an Independent Financial Advisor.

Earl’s faith was central in his life, and the anchor and wellspring of his selfless devotion to others. He was a longtime member of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church and its JOY class, where he was always ready to lead a beach trip or basketball tournament. Earl was also a leader of the Men’s Monday Night Bible Study at Providence Baptist Church.

His wide and diverse circle of friends attest to the countless acts of care and generosity that he somehow always made his top priority. Earl was humble, gracious and full of good humor. He radiated kindness and good cheer. With a contagious laugh and a twinkle in his eye, he lightened the load of all those in his life who faced challenges—always with thoughtful, heartfelt words of affirmation and optimism.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh. The family will receive friends at the church after the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Samaritan’s Purse.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary’s Street Raleigh, NC.