Colonel Eric Lee Redifer (US Air Force Retired), 78, husband of Judith Anne Emerson “Judy” Redifer and a resident of Atlantic, VA, passed away at his home Monday, September 12, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. Born June 13, 1944 in Baltimore, MD and raised in Ravenswood, WV, he was the son of the late Lee Westwood Redifer and Betty Miller Redifer.
Eric graduated from Ravenswood High School, class of 1962, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from West Virginia University, Morgantown, in 1966. Upon graduation, Eric was commissioned through the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, entering active duty on June 30, 1966. Following technical training school, he was assigned to Forbes Air Force Base, Topeka, KS. While at Forbes, he was transferred to temporary duty in South Vietnam and in September of 1969 reported to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, until July 1970. Upon returning stateside, he reported to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, serving as an airlift staff officer, and later Chief, Airlift Branch, Directorate of Maintenance Engineering, Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics. During this time, he also completed additional training to include Squadron Officer School. He spent the next three years in Germany, and in 1977, completed training at Maxwell Air Force Base prior being named Commander, 363rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. In February 1981, he returned to Langley as Assistant, and later Chief, Aircraft Maintenance Inspection Division, Directorate of Inspection, Office of the Inspector General. In July 1983, he returned to Maxwell AFB where he attended Air War College and simultaneously obtained a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University. Upon graduation, Eric reported as assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, and in 1986, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander for Maintenance at the George Air Force Base, California. On October 1, 1986, he was promoted to colonel and reported to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, in May 1988, where he served as deputy chief, and later, as Alaskan Air Command J4. Colonel Redifer retired from active duty on June 30, 1994, following 28 years of dedicated service to his country.
Following retirement, the Redifers made their final move to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Over the last 26 years, they made their home at Wishart’s Point in Atlantic, where Eric made fast friends with neighbors, who affectionately appointed him ‘Mayor of Wishart’s Point.’ His willingness to continue a life in service to others extended well beyond his neighborhood. Eric served as senior warden of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Jenkins Bridge, VA, as well as volunteered as an Election Official for Accomack County and the Foodbank of the Eastern Shore. He was also a member of the Air Force Association, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Kappa Alpha Order.
Colonel Eric Lee Redifer was a man of great honor and respect, one whose life truly made a difference and whose legacy will continue to impact others for generations to come.
In addition to his loving wife of 56 years, he is survived by his sons, Matthew Eric Redifer and his wife, Saynne, of Palmdale, CA and Col. Stephen Emerson Redifer, USMC, Ret., and his wife, Robyn, of Huntsville, AL; sister, Nancy Redifer Davis and her husband, Phil, of Brevard, NC; brothers, Michael Redifer and his wife, Linda, and Vern Redifer and his wife, Sharon, all of Yakima, WA; grandchildren, Sabrina, Samantha, Hannah, Grace, and Thomas Redifer; and several nieces and nephews.
A service to celebrate and honor his life will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., with The Reverend Robert Coniglio officiating. Interment will be held in the Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Eric’s memory may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 186, Oak Hall, VA 23416.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.