Dewey Beach Mayor TJ Redefer, 58, has passed away following a prolonged fight with pancreatic cancer.
WGMD News learned from sources close to the family that Mayor Redefer had passed away Tuesday afternoon following a fierce fight with pancreatic cancer.
Mayor Redefer was elected commissioner in Dewey Beach in 2017, at which time his colleagues voted him to serve as Mayor, a position he held since following a reelection in 2019.
A lifelong member of the community, Redefer strived to serve all of his constituents personally and would go above and beyond to meet the needs of the community he proudly served.
Following the news of Mayor Redefer’s passing, State Senator Ernie Lopez issued a sorrowful statement where he expressed his condolences to the family and said Dewey Beach lost a true public servant.
“The people of the Cape Region and the entire state of Delaware, lost a true public servant with the passing of T.J. Redefer. As Mayor of Dewey Beach, T.J. didn’t just take the high road, he paved it for others to follow. His decency, kindness and care, will be sorely missed by all of us who were fortunate to call him a friend,” Sen. Lopez said. “My deepest condolences to Bobbie, Leigh Ann, Jack and also to the large and lovely extended Redefer clan, during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful man with all of us.”
Redefer was able to bring stability and direction to the local government in Dewey Beach following a time of uncertainty. He is remembered with fondness from his constituents who were saddened to learn of the news of his passing.
“I had no idea TJ Redefer was sick,” said Judy Mangini, a local resident. “My heart is just broken. Absolutely broken. I met TJ when he had our beach house listed for sale almost twenty years ago. He was our agent. We became friends and shortly after.”
Redefer was the owner and broker of Rehoboth Bay Realty Company since 1987.
In 2016, Redefer was elected to the Comprehensive Plan working group for Dewey Beach where he served in a leadership position on various committees. He was also a member of the local Lions Club where he strived for years to help those in need throughout the community.
“My deepest condolences to the entire Redefer family,” another area resident, Stephanie Faust, posted on social media. “Dewey Beach has lost a huge piece of their family Mayor TJ Redefer. Grew up with the Redefers and have been a #1 fan of TJ’s Sky Jack Dewey drone captures.”
Redefer had a longtime passion for capturing breathtaking photography via drone footage of Dewey Beach and the surrounding area. He would often share photos of his hobby on social media, capturing the beauty of the coastal community he proudly represented.
WGMD’s most sincerest condolences are extended to the entire Redefer family and the Dewey Beach community.