Former Springfield Mayor Redfearn Dead at 92

Dr. Paul Redfearn, the MSU professor of Biology who served as Springfield’s mayor has died at the age of 92.

Redfearn passed away on November 26th in the Kansas City area.  

Redfearn was considered an expert in the field of botany.  He earned his degree from Florida State University and spent 31 years as a professor and researcher at MSU.  He released over 96 publications during his career including two books.  

Among his many accomplishments at Missouri State was the creation of the university’s herbarium which is now the second largest in the state.  Dr. Redfearn received an Outstanding Educators of America Award in 1972 and 1973.  

He was elected to Springfield City Council in 1973 and became mayor in 1978 serving until 1981.

“The City mourns the passing of former Mayor Paul Redfearn,” Mayor Ken McClure said on Facebook.  “We are grateful for his exemplary service to our community. Our community relies upon, and functions best, when we have dedicated individuals, such as Mr. Redfearn to provide volunteer leadership. His contributions to our community will live on.”

In addition to his service to Missouri State and Springfield, Dr. Redfearn also served his nation in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II and later in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corp from 1950-1954.

He was married to his wife Rubie for 70 years who survives him.  He also is survived by two sons, Paul III and James.

Services will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church in Independence, MO.  In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to the Paul Redfearn Endowed Fund c/o Missouri State University Foundation, 300 South Jefferson, Springfield, MO 65806. 

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