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Former Mayor John Redgrave dies at 90

When he wasn't working for the town, he was helping at church or enjoying a round of tennis.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. September 21, 2016
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Former Longboat Key Mayor John Redgrave, who served for seven years on the Town Commission, died Sept. 17. He was 90.

During his time as mayor, the town oversaw a $23 million beach renourishment and made strides toward completing canal dredging and revising the town’s commercial codes.

“He always thought of doing the best he could for Longboat Key, and he was really thorough for his preparation for meetings,” said former Mayor Jeremy Whatmough.

Born in 1925, Redgrave served as a first class seaman in the Navy during World War II.

He worked for Beloit Corporation in Beloit, Wis., in the sales department, then bought and ran a machine works company before retiring to the Key.

Redgrave served on commission from 1997 to 2004. For four of those years, he was vice mayor, and for two, from 2002 to 2004, he was mayor. He also served as commissioner for the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority.

Redgrave was also a key figure in the development of the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center and was ranked No. 1 in Florida and No. 8 in the nation by the USTA for his age division when he was 86 years old, his son Martyn Redgrave said. 

“My favorite memory of him is his overriding enthusiasm for life,” Martyn Redgrave said. “And his free spirit as evidenced by the fact that he rode a Honda motorcycle until he was 85.”

He was a member of All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church.

Redgrave was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy. He is survived by sons Martyn, of Columbus, Ohio, Timothy, of Houston, and John Jr., of Diamond Bar. Calif.; daughter, Barbara Jean Holloway, of Downers Grove, Ill.; sister, Catherine Hohlstein, of Atlanta; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 24, at All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church.

Donations can be made to the Legacy Fund of All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church, 563 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key, FL 34228 or The Friends of Tennis Inc., P.O. Box 8164, Longboat Key, FL 34228.


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