Obituary: Carrene Stephens Redfern


Carrene Stephens Redfern, 86, formerly of Atlanta, GA, passed away May 16, 2008 at the Earl B. Hadlow Community Hospice (Jacksonville, FL). She was born May 20, 1921, in Mt. Airy, GA, the daughter of John Alexander Stephens and Louisa Cash Stephens. Carrene graduated from Girls High in Atlanta, where she was the editor of her school newspaper. One of her stories earned a trip to Hollywood and an introduction to Clark Gable. After graduation, Carrene went on to business school and worked with Bell Aircraft during WWII. Following the war, Carrene worked in the retail industry for Rich’s Department Stores and American Greeting Cards.


Carrene was an ordained elder and active member of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, and a former member of North Avenue Presbyterian Church. She was a member of Presbyterian Women, where she served as a moderator and received a lifetime membership as an Outstanding Presbyterian Woman. Carrene also was a member of DeKalb Church Women United, Presbyterian Friendship Circle of Columbia Theological Seminary, and the Sally Weltner Circle at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Bible study and circle leader. In addition to memberships, Carrene served as a volunteer for Villa International, Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church Bargain Shop and other church missions, and the Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church prayer chain. She was a lifelong learner at Columbia Theological Seminary Lay Institute classes.

Carrene will be remembered as a tireless champion of women and their role in the church and a promoter of inclusive language in scripture and liturgy. About 10 years ago, she helped support Francis Kimani Githieya in the final stages of writing The Freedom of the Spirit: African Indigenous Churches in Kenya. The book examined the history and ecclesiology of two African Independent Churches in Kenya, the African Orthodox Church (AOC) and the Arthi (Agikuyu Spirit Churches).


Carrene was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Johnnie Lou Stephens LaRoche, maternal grandparents Freeman Melvin Cash and Theodocia Perkins, and paternal grandparents Robert Franklin Stephens and Martha Emma Caudell. She is survived by sons, Major/Ret. Stephen A. Redfern (Ardyth) and Dr. Robert E. Redfern (Nancy); grandchildren Julia Lee Redfern Boggs (Chad), Megan Elizabeth Redfern, and Andrew Robert Redfern; great-grandson Alexander Lee Boggs, a nephew, William Walter LaRoche III (Lealan); nieces Louanne Carrene LaRoche Knight (Glenn) and Victoria Eloise LaRoche Klompen (Hans); an aunt, Emily Cash Tidwell and numerous cousins.


Added: 05/20/08

Published in AJC 05/22/08
Jacksonville Paper -- Cornelia

An Ode to Aunt Carrene 


A memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, June 14th at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church, 3016 Lanier Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319. The Reverend Marthame Marthame Sanders officiated, Revs. Francis Githieya and Linda Hawthorne also presided. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church Bargain Shop/Food Pantry or to a charity of your choice.