John F. Brady
John started as a volunteer with CAMP Rehoboth in 1993. This was at the same time he began working as a new attorney with Tunnell & Raysor. He walked into CAMP Rehoboth, met Steve and Murray and offered to help. He is still here 23 years later.
John was born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. For those that don’t know where Upper Darby is, it is just outside of Philadelphia. This explains why he is an avid Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers fan. He grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, went to kindergarten at Harlan Elementary School with Kenny Mahan (another great CAMP volunteer), and graduated from Salesianum School. John graduated from the University of Richmond, and after working for several non-profits in the ‘80s, he decided to enroll in law school. He went to Widener Delaware Law School, graduating cum laude in 1991. John is a member of the Delaware, New Jersey, and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
John has worked for several law firms in Delaware as well as being a Deputy Attorney General, an Assistant Public Defender, and a legislative attorney for the Delaware State House of Representatives for 12 years.
John’s foray into politics was successful. He was elected in 2000 as Delaware’s first openly gay male elected official. He has served as Sussex County Register in Chancery, Recorder of Deeds, and is now the Clerk of the Peace. He was recently appointed the Sussex County Chief Deputy Register of Wills and will not be seeking re-election to his current position this fall.
John and his partner Chuck met at a house party in 2013, three years after John’s late partner Joshua Davis passed away. They have been together since, and live in Angola with their cat Leroy, and Sugar and Hollywood, their two small dogs.
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I walked in to CAMP Rehoboth and volunteered to be their attorney. Through the years, when a legal issue has come up I have tried to handle it. I have also volunteered at Sundance since 1993, along with other events through the years.
What events/activities have you been involved with as a volunteer?
Mostly I work as a volunteer during Sundance weekend. I also volunteer my time doing legal work for CAMP Rehoboth (when I am called upon).
What’s your best memory volunteering here?
My best memory would be the Sundance auctions through the years. It is great to see how many businesses continue to support Sundance year after year by donating live and silent auction items.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
Sundance is my favorite because what started out as a celebration of Steve and Murray’s anniversary has turned into a magnificent event that helps the community with the proceeds that are raised. I remember the days when the auction and dance party were held the same night. The current format works great, and I look forward to later this year when it will be at the Rehoboth Mall.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
I would have to say that my favorite season is fall. Rehoboth and Lewes are much less hectic. You can visit your favorite restaurants without a long wait, there is a lot less traffic, and best of all, it is still warm.
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
The person I feel most influenced me as I was growing up was John F. Kennedy. I am old enough to remember the funeral. The words from his inauguration “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” That, along with my father’s work ethic, and helping people out has guided me through my legal career.
If you had an extra hour in the day what would you do?
My extra hour would be used to relax.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Richmond, Virginia. I just love that city. I worked there for the better part of 31 years at the University of Richmond Police, Camp Brady Saunders, and Bar Review courses that I taught. From limeaid to pork barbecue to Ukrops’ chicken to Phil’s club sandwiches, I always had a good meal and, and it is my favorite spot to visit away from Sussex County, Delaware.
Night owl or early riser?
I am a night owl that now rises early.
Best year of your life and why?
The best year for me would have to be 1991. That’s the year I graduated from law school, and I passed the bar exam on my first try!
Favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s about family and food. My favorite part though is the turkey and stuffing.
The LGBT community has made significant progress in the fight for equality over recent years. Did you expect to see this in your lifetime and why or why not?
I don’t ever remember thinking that equality would happen in my life time. I am so glad that it did. I am also grateful that I was able to be a part of marriage equality. The best part for me would have to be July 1, 2013, being an elected official and implementing the law change.
How long have you been coming to Rehoboth?
I have been living in Lewes for 24 years. However, I first visited Dewey Beach in the mid ‘60s. I loved it and I kept coming back year after year.
Since you began coming to Rehoboth, name the biggest change you’ve seen.
The biggest change I have seen would have to be the acceptance of all people, no matter who they are. It wasn’t that way in the ‘80s. Beginning in 2000, you could see the shift beginning to happen.
Describe an ideal date night.
My ideal date night would be having dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, along with going to see a movie, or just taking a nice leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.
What are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for the chance to serve the public.
On behalf of everyone at CAMP Rehoboth, thank you for all of the work you do in the community and for your legal expertise when CAMP Rehoboth needs it. Thank you for continuing to volunteer year after year for the Sundance Auction, but especially for being our late night volunteer at the Sundance Dance. We appreciate everything you have done for CAMP Rehoboth. We hope you will continue to be a part of the CAMP family for a long time.