Earl Redner is well known in the region for the chain of supermarkets that bear his name. During his lifetime he directed significant community support through his stores. Through his will he directed the proceeds from his estate to five Church of the Brethren organizations — including his home for the last ten years of his life, Brethren Village.
Earl’s long-time friend and fellow Brethren Village Resident Don Robinson described Earl’s connection to the Church of the Brethren. During his early years, Earl’s family lived in Virginia in a community with several Church of the Brethren congregations. But during the Great Depression, the family moved to New York State, and it was only later in Earl’s life when he moved to Pennsylvania that Earl reconnected with his Church of the Brethren roots.
Earl’s connection to Brethren Village began when he moved to his apartment in Fieldcrest in 2009. Always an active person, he appreciated the fitness room and would sometimes walk on the treadmill for up to an hour. He also appreciated that he could bring his two cats with him when he moved in.
In addition to including Brethren Village in his will, Earl also named Brethren Village a beneficiary of two IRAs. This is a highly effective way to give since Brethren Village does not pay any of the taxes on the money that individual beneficiaries would incur.
Proceeds from both the will and the IRAs was given without restriction, and had significant impact on Brethren Village’s core mission of providing benevolent care to Residents. Earl’s friend and fellow Brethren Village Resident, Don Robinson noted that Earl once told him “I give because it’s my job to give things back to people.” Through his gift to Brethren Village, Earl is certainly giving back to people like him who call Brethren Village home.