Obituary: Rey Redington
Rey Redington of Monroe Township, an entrepreneur and former longtime resident of Montclair, died peacefully on March 19, 2023, with his wife and two children at his side. He was 78.
Mr. Redington, formally known as Rowley Wilhelm Philips Redington, the third in a line of Rowleys, was born in New York City in 1944 and spent his youth in Greenwich, Connecticut. He graduated from Greenwich High School in 1963 and the University of Connecticut in 1969.
He married Rebecca Scureman in 1966, and in 1975 the family moved from Bethel, Connecticut, to Montclair, where they lived for 40 years. In 2014 he and his wife moved to the Rossmoor Community in Monroe Township.
Mr. Redington was an entrepreneur who moved from corporate life into the world of creating his own businesses. He began with a gas station at which, much to the consternation of the gas company, he introduced the unheard-of notion of a convenience store. It was one of the many times he was on the opposite side of “conventional wisdom.”
It was a trait that endeared him to the many friends, employees, campaign workers, protest marchers, choir singers and clients who loved his spirit and humor. When stricken with multiple sclerosis more than 45 years ago, he took on that challenge with the same energy, creativity and just-get-on-with-it spirit that guided his life.
He was always positive, up for lending a hand or an ear, the consummate supportive husband, father, sibling, uncle, grandfather and friend. Wherever he went he expanded his circle of friends.
Mr. Redington was an interested man, and his interest was contagious. He managed to get family, friends and strangers to support his bids for township council in Montclair and for Congress. While he lost both elections, his community stuck with him as he taught himself all about computers, beginning with the first desktops in the 1980s.
Even as his mobility decreased due to his MS, he rescued countless people from computer- induced mishaps ranging from meltdowns and viruses to neglecting to plug the machine in. Employing his own and many friends’ children over the years, he wired offices and supplied IT guidance to many a small business.
His love of building purposeful things and gadgets kept him busy, and as his mobility decreased, kept his family, friends and neighbors busy as they followed his instructions to build and employ the gadgets that made his life more accessible.
Mr. Redington believed strongly in the importance of the democratic process and the rights of all people to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. He rolled his wheelchair in many a protest — for racial justice, women’s rights, the right to same-sex marriage, voting rights and climate change, to name a few.
The ins and outs of how local politics affected communities were always important to him, and he threw his energy into helping people even when that made him an unwelcome guest at many a town meeting.
He was a lifelong reader of the print edition of newspapers and sought out the local one anywhere he went. When he found that his new home, Monroe Township, had no local paper he started his own, launching a career as an editor and journalist in his 70s.
In the Rossmoor Community in Monroe Township, he and his wife joined the Rossmoor Chorus and The Players. Singing had always been a joy for him. In their Montclair days he, his wife and their friends put on many an extravagant show with original songs, dances and comedic skits to celebrate and roast with good humor and love birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
His life was full of friendships, the kind of adventures that stem from an entrepreneurial spirit, and connections grounded in the faith that all people have stories that matter. His humor, kindness, the twinkle in his blue eyes and the combination of his moral compass and willingness to learn new things will be remembered and missed by many.
In addition to his wife of 56 years, Rebecca, and children, Megan and Travis, Mr. Redington is survived by three grandsons, Wilder, Kaegan and Farrow, who knew him as “Pops”; his siblings, Leyla, Molly, Tommy, Nancy and Deb, and Rebecca’s family, including her identical twin sister, Harriet.
A celebration of his life will be held in the clubhouse at Rossmoor, Monroe Township, in October.
Arrangements were by Direct Cremations LLC.