John “TJ” Redefer, the drone enthusiast, Real Estate broker, Dewey Beach, Delaware mayor passed away yesterday after a long battle against pancreatic cancer.

TJ was a personal friend of mine who served with me on the Delaware UAS Task Force a few years ago.  He loved flying drones both recreationally and to promote his Real Estate business, Rehoboth Bay Realty Co. and was a very avid advocate for their use across many industries.  He was always bright and spirited, never one to complain or drag others down around him.  While I haven’t been close to TJ personally over the last year or so, learning of his death dealt quite a blow to me.

Skygear Solutions sold TJ drones and took care of his equipment needs for several years.  Prior to working as the Mayor of Dewey Beach, he was active in online forums, regularly speaking out positively about drone use and regulations in the region.  He always had great suggestions on the Delaware UAS Task Force and often volunteered to spearhead efforts of our group.

The town of Dewey Beach certainly lost a wonderful soul this week.  TJ always had an open invite for me to visit his town and his home and to go out and fly drones together on the beach or around the beautiful landscapes of coastal Delaware.  I sincerely regret not taking him up on that offer more often.

We will all miss you dearly.