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Joseph M. Redden

Posted By Hall-Wynne On December 19, 2012 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | No Comments

DURHAM – Joseph M. Redden, 89, passed away on December 19, 2012. Joe was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 29, 1923 to John and Gertrude Redden. After graduation from South Side High School in Newark, Joe became a sheet metal apprentice in the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Newark. At the age of 20, he joined the United States Army and served in both the European and Pacific Theatres in WWII. He was honorably discharged in 1945, holding the rank of First Sergeant.

After returning from his wartime service Joe joined the Newark Fire Department in March of 1947 at the age of 24, and rose quickly through the ranks. In the state of New Jersey at that time, a firefighter’s performance on the statewide Civil Service examinations was the deciding factor in his promotion. He was promoted to Captain at age 30, Battalion Chief at age 34, and Deputy Chief at age 37. Then, in 1962, at the youthful age of 39, he placed first on the Civil Service exam and attained the position of Fire Chief of what was then about the 30th largest city in the nation according to population rank. Joe was a founding member of the Metro Chiefs Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Metro Chiefs Committee is comprised of the Fire Chiefs from the largest cities in the nation. After retiring from the Newark Fire Department in 1977, Joe was hired by the National Fire Protection Association of Boston, MA and worked at NFPA for 12 years. He started as Chief Service Specialist, then was promoted to Division Director, and finished his career at NFPA as Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs. He left the NFPA in 1989, having successfully served the Fire Service for 42 years, first as a front line firefighter and completing his service as an advocate for national fire standards. In 1989 Joe and his wife Anne moved to North Carolina to live near their children and grandchildren. Not content to be retired, Joe became a volunteer for the Duke University Men’s Soccer Camp during his son-in-law’s tenure as Duke Soccer Coach, and, later, for the Triangle Futbol Club. He was devoted to his wife, his children, and his grandchildren and lived a life of service to his family, his community, and to God.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife Anne in 1998. He is survived by his son Michael Redden, daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and John Rennie, son and daughter-in-law Christopher and Holly Redden, and grandchildren Theodore Rennie, Grace Rennie, David Redden, Benjamin Redden, and Hannah Redden.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, December 22nd at 11:00am at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, with burial immediately following in Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. Visitation shall be from 6:00 – 8:00pm on Friday evening, December 21 at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham.

Memorial donations to Duke Children’s Hospital, Office of Development, 512 South Mangum Street, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701 or flowers, would be gratefully appreciated.

Arrangements for the Redden family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences www.hallwynne.com

Condolences for the family of “Joseph M. Redden”

Condolence from Cheryl Blake on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

My sincere sympathy to the Redden family. Joe always greeted you with a smile and was just a wonderful person who was easy to talk to and interested in what you had to say. I hope that great memories will help fill the void you will feel and get you through this difficult time. With Sympathy, Cheryl Blake

Condolence from Bill McCammon on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Joe was a valued member of the Fire Service Community and remained active in the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, as one of our founding members, long after his retirement. We all enjoyed his friendship, he will be missed.

Condolence from Russ Sanders on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Joe was a legend in the fire service, and served as a mentor to me and many others. Joe was a first class person and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten!

Condolence from David Paulison on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Joe’s family. Rest is peace, my friend. We will miss your smiling face and warm handshake.

Dave Paulison

Condolence from M.H. Jim Estepp on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Joe was a role model for many of us in the Fire Service and his leadership and professionalism were second to none. In many respects he was a pioneer and the mold in which he was cast has now been broken.

Condolence from J. Robert Ray on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

While I had only met Joe once, at a Metro Fire Chiefs Conference, he was friends with the Fire Chief who hired me, Harry Klasmeier. I spoke to Chief Klasmeier about Joe and his face lit up at the mention of his old friend and colleague. While I didn’t know Joe very well, I knew by Chief Klasmeier’s reaction that he was a man to respect and admire. My condolences on behalf of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department to Joe’s family and friends on the loss of great man and a fire department legend.

Condolence from Ned Pettus, Jr. on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Redden family. May God comfort you, keep you, and give you his peace. I met Joe through Russ at Metro conferences, and appreciate his pioneering work in founding the group we cherish so much. Rest in peace Joe.

Condolence from Jeff Godfredson on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Your influence spread further than you may have thought. Your were a mentor and a friend. I have the greatest respect for all that you have done.
Rest in Peace.

Condolence from Rebecca Denlinger on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

My heartfelt condolences to Chief Redden’s family. Joe has been a mentor to many of us and a leader to more. The fire service will miss him. The Metro Chiefs will always remember and honor him.

Condolence from Luther Fincher on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Chief Redden was a real model for me as well as many other Fire Chiefs in this nation. As the Fiire Chief of Charlotte he gave me advice and guidance for many years and above all a great friend to my wife Gayle and I. Our heartfelt prayers are with the Redden family. As our last original Metro Chief we will all miss him very much.

Condolence from Howard OShell on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Our deepest sympathies, Howie and Katrina

Condolence from Charlie Dickinson on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

Chief Redden, or Joe to those of us who knew him in the Metro Chiefs Assoc were honored to know him and call him a friend. His insight and leadership inspired all of us. May God bestow his blessings on the Redden family as Joe, Chief Redden is safely home with him. Charlie Dickinson, Fire Chief Retired, Pittsburgh PA Bureau of Fire

Condolence from Scott & Donna Souther on December 20th, 2012 12:00 am

So sorry for your loss, Loved visiting your Mom and Dad in Dedham. Will be keeping you all in our prayers this Christmas…
Love the Souther Family

Condolence from Guy Colonna on December 21st, 2012 12:00 am

My condolences to Joe’s family. I had the privilege of traveling with him to Regional Meetings on occasion – even though I was new at NFPA, he made me feel welcomed and shared much in those trips. His reputation preceded him wherever he traveled and I quickly recognized that the longer I was at NFPA.

Condolence from Shorty Bryson on December 21st, 2012 12:00 am

Maggie and my thoughts are with the Redden family. What a life he lived and what a legacy he left. Rest in peace, Joe.

Condolence from Carl Peterson on December 21st, 2012 12:00 am

I was saddened to hear of Joe’s passing and extend my sincerest condolences to Joe’s family on your loss. I worked with Joe at NFPA and he was both a friend and inspiring mentor to me. I learned a lot about big city fire services as Joe related his days with the Newark Fire Department. May he rest in peace!

Condolence from Doug Packer and Family on December 22nd, 2012 12:00 am

So sorry for your loss! We will be praying for your entire family and for your father. I know he is in a better place now and you can all see him again in the future.

Condolence from Anthony O’Neill on December 23rd, 2012 12:00 am

Michael, Chris and Kathleen …
Mimi and I have fond memories of your Dad and Mom. We were colleagues at NFPA. Your Dad was a true leader in the Fire Service and in the advancement of fire safety standards and professionalism. Above all, he was an inspiration to all of us and always a gentleman.

Condolence from Herman and Jackie Brice on December 26th, 2012 12:00 am

We are so saddened by Joe’s passing. He was a an exceptional and wonderful friend.Joe was very instrumental in my career.He was a great contributor to the Fire Service. Jackie and I will miss him greatly.

Condolence from Keith Richter on December 27th, 2012 12:00 am

My heartfelt condolences to Chief Joe’s family. He is truly an icon in the American fire service and, more importantly, a wonderful human being. His legacy in the career he loved touched thousands of firefighters over nine decades. I am only one of the many that were inspired to be a better man by just watching Joe show how it’s done. Rest in peace Chief.

Condolence from Pam Powell on January 19th, 2013 12:00 am

During my years at NFPA, you could always count on Joe Redden to be a true gentleman. He offered kind advice and a sincere smile to the younger staff. With fond memories, Pam.

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