William Marshall Redd, Jr.
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William Marshall Redd, Jr., Mayor of Newark between 1973 and 1989, died on September 13, 2013 at Christiana Hospital. He was 92. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anne Harris Redd; daughter, Cathy Anne Redd (Byron Woodbury), of Washington Crossing, PA; daughter, Nancy Redd Lewis (Gary Scott Lewis), of Drexel Hill, PA; granddaughter, Elizabeth Redd Woodbury, of Boston, MA; and grandsons, Scott William Lewis and Todd Robert Lewis, both of Drexel Hill, PA. Mr. Redd was born in Baltimore, MD in 1921 to William Marshall Redd, Sr. and Eva Marks Redd. His only sibling, John Edward Redd, died as an infant.
Mr. Redd graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in May of 1938 at the age of 16. In September of 1939, he entered engineering school at the University of Maryland at College Park. He graduated three years later, in June of 1942, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Mr. Redd joined the Navy hoping to serve at sea, but the Navy wanted the benefit of his engineering expertise. Accordingly, it offered him a commission in the Civil Engineer Corps, USNR, and in February of 1943, Mr. Redd became a Seabee. Mr. Redd's battalion, the 145th Seabees, spent two years in the Pacific theater, much of it in the Solomon and Russell Islands. Attached to the First Marine Division, the 145th Seabees participated in the beach invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945. When much of the world was celebrating the end of the war in Europe in May of 1945, the 145th Seabees were ordered into battle with the First Marine Division again, this time as part of the first wave of US troops that was to land on Japan. Mr. Redd often said that when Japan surrendered, he felt like the luckiest man in the service. After the war, Mr. Redd returned to College Park where he served as President of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, earned an MBA from the University of Maryland in 1949 and taught in the university's Civil Engineering Department between 1947 and 1951. He met his wife, the former Anne Harris on Thanksgiving Day of 1950. The couple married in May of 1951 .
Mr. Redd worked at Dupont for over 30 years, primarily as a human relations consultant, but the two loves of his life were his family and public service. In 1970, he was drafted to run for Newark City Council from the Fifth District. While he said he ran to lose and get his name out the first time around, he fought hard, knocking on many doors to meet Newark residents and listen to their concerns. He won his first election, surprising himself and prompting supporters to wear buttons declaring, "Redd Takes Fifth." Mr. Redd was elected Mayor many times, but never cared for party politics; the fact of the matter was that he liked being Mayor of Newark because it allowed him to pursue his deep interest in government and political science in a non-partisan environment. As Mayor, he served on the Transportation & Communications Steering Committee of the National League of Cities, the Policy Board Advisory Council of the American Public Power Association, and the Policy Board of the Water Resources Agency for New Castle County. He also served as President of the Delaware League of Local Governments and Chairman of the University Communities Caucus of the National League of Cities. He worked hard on town/gown relations with the University of Delaware, but was firmly of the opinion that Newark was far more than the setting for a university. Mr. Redd joined St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Newark in the 1960s. A former vestryman, he remained a member of St. Thomas until his death.
Mr. Redd retired from city government in 1989, the same year in which the Newark Post named him Newark's Citizen of the Year, along with University of Delaware President E.A Trabant. Mr. Redd went on to become President of the Friends of the Newark Free Library, Chairman of the New Castle County Library Advisory Board and Chairman of the Delaware Council on Libraries. During this period, he and his wife took many trips to Europe, often living in the same French, Spanish or Italian village for months at a time so they could immerse themselves in local life.
A memorial service for Mr. Redd will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM in the Danby Chapel of Methodist Country House, 4830 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE. Mr. Redd will be buried in a private ceremony at the church yard of old St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Newark. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that any contributions in his honor be made to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 276 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19711-5235.
R.T. Foard and Jones
Funeral Directors & Crematory
A Life Celebration® Home
Published in The News Journal on Sept. 18, 2013