Trish Vernon: A heart full of compassion

November 3, 2023

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." - Coretta Scott King

Whether signing checks as a board member for Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth, planning meetings as president of DeVries Business and Professional Women, or stirring raisins into the dough of her much-anticipated Irish Soda Bread loaves mailed to family and friends in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Trish Vernon was all about doing for others, and celebrating the good deeds of individuals and groups doing for others. She loved people.

Those inherent qualities made Trish uniquely suited to successfully serve for many decades as a community newspaper editor. She completed her mission this week when death brought final relief from a long and painful illness.

Trish understood the importance of community to a healthy society, especially as manifested by the Cape Gazette. She co-founded the newspaper in 1993, and nurtured it faithfully as editor and vice president for 28 years before retiring in 2021.

For 18 years prior to that, as reporter and editor for the Cape Gazette predecessor known as The Whale, Trish developed a thorough knowledge of the markets she helped dub Saltwater Sussex County, and later, Delaware’s Cape Region.

She understood the importance of providing accurate and balanced coverage of the various government entities and justice systems affecting the lives of her readers. She understood the importance of letters to the editor, Little League and Christmas parades, coverage of the dozens of philanthropic organizations providing strength and depth to area communities, and the thousands of obituaries she prepared for publication. She knew the importance of those obituaries to families, neighbors and friends as informal but no less important histories for the communities she served.

In this age of misinformation and harmful partisanship, Trish’s natural compassion and never-ending dedication to providing a credible package of news and information helped bind and unify our communities. Despite moving on to the great beyond, Trish’s legacy here will live on. She will be missed.


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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