I think it’s fairly common for people to reflect on the meaning of life from time to time. Often, those thoughts arise following the death of a loved one or the passing of some particularly influential person.
Recently, POWER received an obituary for Ronald Stanley Redfield. Mr. Redfield was said to have been a lifelong reader of our publication and a lover of the power industry. I’d like to honor his memory by sharing what his family submitted.
Ronald Stanley Redfield
Born: December 6, 1941
Died: February 16, 2021
Mr. Redfield, who was born the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed, grew up in Windsor, Connecticut. He graduated from Northeastern University in 1963 through its then-newly-created work-study program. He began his career with Combustion Engineering in the company’s prestigious International Group, working with Mitsubishi on its license for boiler technology.
After receiving a master’s degree in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Redfield went on to Riley Stoker, where he designed a revolutionary package boiler. He later worked for United Engineers, where he designed the most efficient power plant in the world at the time for the Harvard Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. In the following years, he wrote papers regarding the development of coal oil and designed numerous coal generation plants, as well as co-generation and refuse-to-energy projects around the world.
In the 1980s, Mr. Redfield founded North American Power Services. In the 1990s, he founded Southern Design and Fabrication. Both served a global customer base in the power and process industries.
Mr. Redfield was very devoted to the power industry and regularly promoted its positive impact on communities. He often reminded younger colleagues that local politicians would hold dances on the “dance floor” of boilers when they were completed, and pointed out the pride that stood behind the brass eagles that used to adorn their tops.
Mr. Redfield retired in 2010, but his expertise and unique combinations of talents were as remarkable as his decency and common sense. He will be much missed.
While I didn’t know Mr. Redfield, according to the accounts of those who did, he enjoyed a fulfilling life and productive career. I think we all aspire to have people say the same about us following our deaths.
And when it comes to careers, I can think of few more satisfying than one in the power industry. Producing and supplying electricity, and contributing to a higher quality of life for customers everywhere, are jobs to be proud of.
As most readers of POWER probably know, our publication was founded in 1882. Imagine all the engineers, operators, maintenance technicians, and other power professionals who have studied it over the years and gleaned useable insight from articles published within its pages. I feel a deep responsibility to live up to the high standards set by those who have come before me and am honored to contribute to the POWER brand. It is a small piece of what I think makes life worth living. I hope you find your work as meaningful.
—Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).