Obituary: Carolyn Palma Redfern, 71, First Female Building Commissioner in Mass.

Carolyn Palma Redfern an amazing wife, mom, aunt, grandmother, friend, and builder died on Tuesday, July 15th. She lived 71 phenomenal years.

Carol (“Nonnie”) was the only child of Joseph Taglienti and Caroline DeMaio of Newton, MA.

In her high school years she met our dad John Redfern of Needham, MA (“Bear”) and fell in love. For 49 years she was married to Bear. They were BFFs (“best friends forever”), parents to 4 pretty great kids, grandparents to 9 very cuddly grandchildren, traveling pals, and so much more. They taught us what it means to be in love. They were soul mates ^2 (dad was a math major). Carol was “mom” or “ma” to Christine Redfern Kass (RI), Jonathan “Joff” (CA), Sean (RI), and Matt Redfern (RI). From her we learned to be tenacious, fair, thoughtful, hands on, to not only dream, but to do. We saw close up her elegantly simple recipe for life: “Live. Love. Laugh”.

She started as our mother and teacher but later in life became our confidante and best friend. In her professional life, she followed her bliss as a designer and builder. She had a degree from Simmons College and a certificate in interior design from Rhode Island School of Design. Being entrepreneurial, she started her own interior design practice and later became a real estate developer.

When we all left for college she started yet another career and became the building commissioner for the town of Dennis, MA. She was the first woman building commissioner in Massachusetts. She balanced family and work. We were proud.

There are over 7,246,899,824 people in the world. To the world, mom was just another person. But to her family and friends she was the world.

A viewing will be held from 4-8 p.m. this Friday 7/18 at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main Street, East Greenwich, RI. Funereal Service will be held at 1 p.m. on 7/19 at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church East Greenwich, RI. In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made to Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island who brought her comfort and peace in her final days.


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