Richard "Dick" Cecil of Lewes was recently honored with a Sussex County Council proclamation for his decades of public service in two counties and to the State of Delaware.
Upon Cecil’s retirement in January from his position as executive director of the Delaware Association of Counties, Councilman Mark Schaeffer, District 3, sought to recognize him for more than 40 years of public service and community contributions. Cecil joined DAC in 1989 and became its executive director in 1997.
Schaeffer presented the proclamation at Cecil’s home in Lewes with family and friends present, noting that he has found Cecil to be a man of integrity, class and loyalty, both to his constituency and to those with whom he served. Schaeffer said, “Many members of both the Republican and Democrat parties will miss working with him and his counsel.”
Cecil was elected to New Castle County Council in 1976 and served as president pro tem from 1989 to 1996. He was known for wise leadership and as a source of guidance for members of other council bodies. Recognizing Cecil for his support of New Castle County Police Department, installation of new public parks in the county and service as president pro tem, New Castle County Council also recently presented a proclamation.
Cecil received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Selective Service System on his retirement in 2018 after 14 years of service as Delaware director.
In December, President-elect Joe Biden weighed in on Cecil's legacy during the virtual DAC meeting where the retirement was announced, saying he was always grateful for Cecil’s united approach among Democrats and Republicans for the good of community.
Cecil was clearly moved by these gestures from his peers and colleagues, and he is settling into retirement as an active member of Rehoboth Sunrise Rotary Club and Lewes Yacht Club, never far from many friends and colleagues. He said the recognition means everything to him and his family.
Son Ryan Cecil of Wilmington fondly remembers working on his dad’s campaigns, doing literature drops, wearing campaign buttons and shirts. "My father got a lot of nice things done for his community, and his service inspired me. I've thought of running for public office, which I may do someday," Ryan said. The park library in New Castle County is one of Cecil's legacies that especially makes his family proud, Ryan added. Daughter-in-law Teri and son Robert Cecil also expressed their pride. Robert said, "His fairness and keen drive for balanced solutions and initiatives always put community first."
Cecil's legacy of integrity and dedication holds a special place in the hearts of his colleagues, constituents and family.