CTCPA Past President Michael R. Redemske of Avon passed away Saturday, July 26 at his home. Born in Chicago, IL, he was raised in Chicago and received his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.S.T. from DePaul University. Michael served in the 107th Finance Battalion of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After the war he became a CPA and joined Price Waterhouse where he worked for more than 25 years, eventually becoming a managing tax partner. He then joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Business, teaching tax accounting.
Michael served the CTCPA as president, president-elect, treasurer, and secretary, and as a member of the Board of Governors. He served as chair of the committees on Bylaws, Annual Service Award, Executive Education Review, Membership, Nominating, Uniform Accountancy Act, and Governmental Affairs.
“Mike’s leadership at the Society was critical in helping the organization negotiate challenging times,” said CTCPA Executive Director Art Renner. “Mike was both an agent for change and a pragmatist at the same time. Simply stated, he was an accomplished professional. I enjoyed knowing him as well as working with him. I will always think of Mike as an ally and a friend.”
As an instructor-in-residence at UConn, Michael oversaw student work on the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
“Mike always volunteered for tasks beyond the requirements of his job,” said UConn School of Business Professor of Accounting and Department Head Dr. Mohamed Hussein. “He developed a one-credit tax course to be the foundation of our VITA program, which he advised. The quality of [the UConn VITA] work is so high that the IRS sent an executive to observe how the work is done so as to share those practices with other schools.”
Michael also took over the leadership of a project funded by the Department of Higher Education to develop a distance learning course on financial literacy. “Mike worked with a unit of CPTV and faculty from several departments to develop a course accessible to young people,” Hussein explained. “His wise counsel and calm demeanor helped us improve our undergraduate and M.S. in accounting programs. More importantly, he is a great friend who lightened any setting with his warm smile and funny anecdotes.”
“Mike made UConn his passion after retirement from Price Waterhouse,” said CTCPA Past President Dr. Lawrence Gramling, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the UConn School of Business. “He supervised a number of honors theses for students who were interested in tax as a topic and inspired many young students to become tax academics.”
“During my six-year tenure at Deloitte, every single tax student who we brought on from UConn had attributed choosing tax based on how much they enjoyed Professor Redemske’s class,” explained former student Frank Murphy, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arizona. “If it were not for him, I might have not been exposed to tax research and taken the path I’m currently on.”
In his free time, Michael enjoyed playing golf, reading, cheering on his grandchildren in their sporting activities, and taking long road trips with his wife Mary Jo. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.