Henlopen Acres Mayor David Lyons dies at 58

April 17, 2018

David Lyons, the mayor of Henlopen Acres since 2015, died April 17. He was 58 years old.

Town Manager Thomas Roth said in a statement, “It is with heavy hearts that we notify you today of the sudden passing of our Mayor David Lyons. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Cate and sons David Jr. and Tim, and his mother Mary Jane Lyons. We will share information on services at later time.”  

No official cause of death has been announced.

Lyons was first elected commissioner in 2007, serving four terms, during the last of which he was elected as mayor. Henlopen Acres selects its mayor from among the seven commissioners. In addition to serving in Henlopen Acres, Lyons worked in insurance, forming his own company, Lyons Companies, which had offices in Wilmington, Rehoboth Beach and Bethesda, Md. Born in New Castle County, Lyons was a member of the Delaware Business Roundtable and a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Lyons’ sons, David Jr. and Timothy, said in a statement, “In life, we are so fortunate when we meet a person that has the ability to profoundly impact our lives to the extent that they create a positive change with the potential to ripple through generations. To those that knew him, David Lyons is one of those people. David will be missed by us all. His wit and humor, caring and compassion, and love and generosity still thrive in all of us who called David a friend, in his sons, his successors, in whom he instilled these values, and in the philosophy of the firm he built.”

Jim Ellison, chairman of the Rehoboth Art League, said, “David, in his role as mayor of Henlopen Acres, and I, in my role as board chair of the Rehoboth Art League, maintained a cordial relationship as we worked to ensure the peaceful coexistence of the two entities.  I'll miss our open, frank and productive discussions over lunch, which led to ideas and conclusions beneficial to Henlopen Acres residents and Rehoboth Art League members and visitors.”   

Lyons is the second Henlopen Acres mayor to die in office in the last six years. After longtime Mayor Wanda Davis stepped down in August 2012, she was replaced by David Hill, who had been a town commissioner since 2005. Hill served as mayor until June 2014, when he died suddenly at the age of 72. Hill’s successor was Winnie Kee, who served in the post until she resigned in January 2015. Lyons, who had been a commissioner since 2007, was chairing meetings as president pro tem until April 2015, when he was elected to the position full time in April 2015.