Dean Scott Phillips, former Bethany town manager

March 27, 2013

Dean Scott Phillips, 64 of Bethany Beach, a local business owner, property manager with ResortQuest, and a former Bethany Beach town manager, succumbed to complications of long-term Parkinson's disease Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

Mr. Phillips was born in Delmar, a son of Percy E. Phillips, the town barber, and Gladys (Hudson) Phillips, a school teacher. He graduated from American University with a bachelor's degree in political science and, immediately after, went on to achieve his masters in business administration.

In his lifetime, Dean successfully navigated a long career as both a public servant and an entrepreneur. He initially worked for the State of Delaware under Governor Peterson and later held a position in the Division of Economic Development. From there, he served as assistant city manager of Smyrna for three years.

Perhaps his most notable professional achievement was his time served as town manager of Bethany Beach from 1982-96. His passion for Bethany was evident throughout his time served. He made various improvements to the town, including a prominent role in several beach replenishment projects, water system and treatment plant enhancements as well as modifications to Route 26, Garfield Parkway, and Pennsylvania Avenue.

He also was one of the driving forces behind the financial campaign to establish the larger and more advanced South Coastal Library. During his years spent as town manager, he also founded and operated the Resort Real Estate Guide, as well as the Delaware and Ocean City Beach Guide magazines.

He spent his last 10 years before retirement serving as property manager with ResortQuest for the Bear Trap Dunes and King's Grant communities.

Although his professional life was extensive, his greatest accomplishment, according to him, was raising his two daughters, Caitlin and Amanda, with his wife of 36 years, Cathy. His love for the little town of Bethany also continued to the end. He walked down by the beach every night that he could, even as movement became more difficult for him and he was always repeating, "I would not want to live anywhere but Bethany Beach."

Mr. Phillips is survived by his wife, Catherine Connor Phillips, his daughter Caitlin Lightbourn and her husband Ryan, and his daughter, Amanda Phillips. He is also survived by his brother, Bruce Phillips and his wife Faye, and their children and grandchildren.

No formal services are planned. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Dean Phillips. to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163 or at

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