Harvey Edward Redak

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  • Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek
    55 East King's Highway
    Chester, CT
  • Camp Hazen
    204 West Main Street
    Chester, CT 06412

Harvey Edward Redak

  • BORN: October 3, 1938
  • DIED: May 22, 2017
  • LOCATION: Chester, Connecticut

Harvey Edward Redak, 78, of Vero Beach, FL and Chester, CT, formerly of West Hartford, CT, died after a long courageous battle with cancer on Monday (May 22, 2017) at his home in Chester. He leaves to mourn his death and treasure the many loving memories his wife, Justine Tobis, his brother Daniel G. Redak of Old Saybrook, his nieces and nephews and his many cousins around the world. He was predeceased by his parents, Saul and Anita (Cutler) Redak and his brother, Howard C. Redak of Old Saybrook, CT Harvey served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Although he was an accomplished trumpeter the Army sent him to the Naval School of Music in Maryland where he studied the French horn. He then played the French horn as a member of the U.S. Army, 43rd Division band. After serving our country in the military, Harvey returned to civilian life and went to work in New York City for Nixon Baldwin. Commuting on weekends from New York, he bought a houseboat and moored it on the Connecticut River in Essex. His lively and entertaining parties became known throughout the area, and the legend of "Harvey Houseboat" was born. It was during this period Harvey founded a boat delivery business sailing the Atlantic from Essex to Florida and the Caribbean. Harvey learned to fly aircraft while in the Army, and as a civilian became a commercial airline pilot and flight instructor. Later he served as "Smoky the Bear in the Air" to watch for forest fire threats for our State DEP. This stint led him to a full time position as the park manager at Chatfield Hollow State Park until his retirement. In 1981 while performing in the orchestra for the Mark Twain Masquers musical "Gypsy" a beautiful actress caught his eye and became the love of his life. Justine Tobis and Harvey were married in 1993. Their love was a bond never broken. Harvey was very proud of his wife, her education and accomplishments as an actress, attorney, and retired probate judge. Harvey was community minded and served on many boards. The Chester Historical Society, YMCA Camp Hazen, The Robbie Colomore Music Series, and the Cedar Lake Management Advisory Committee among others. He was a past Commander of Major General Maurice Rose Post 51, Jewish War Veterans of USA and a 32nd Degree Mason. In 2010 he was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot award, given to pilots with an unblemished 50 year record of promoting safe aircraft flight operations. Harvey played in numerous bands for many years including many of his own quartet groups. An accomplished musician, the trumpet and bugle became instruments he was known to master. The State of Connecticut Guard appointed Harvey to perform taps at military funerals throughout the State. He played taps for over 2000 U.S. Veterans' funerals over the years. As a person, Harvey was loving, a friend to many, a true humanitarian, and an optimist in all things. He always saw the glass half full, never half empty. A service celebrating Harvey's life will be held on Tuesday, May 30, at 11:00 AM at the Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 E. Kings Hwy, Chester CT. In lieu of flowers, he wished people would donate to Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek or Camp Hazen in Chester CT. Harvey would often say, "Life is too good not to enjoy it" To share a memory of Harvey or send a condolence to his family please visit www.rwwfh.com . Arrangements by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.

Life Celebration
  • May 30, 2017
    11:00 AM
  • Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek
  • 55 East Kings Highway
  • Chester, CT 06412
  • Get Directions


“ harvey and i were close back in the early sixties when he first got a houseboat. we had many good times on the river with our many friends, and girls...Read More »

Posted by: Bob Impelluso - homosassa, FL

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