VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Local and state officials released statements Friday, following the passing of former Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf.
Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr.
As mayor of the city that Meyera Oberndorf loved so dearly, I am truly sorry to hear of her passing. There is hardly a person who has lived in Virginia Beach or done business in our city over the last forty years who does not know the name “Meyera Oberndorf.” She touched so many hearts and lives throughout the years that the name “Meyera” is instantly recognizable everywhere.
The reason she touched hearts was because she cared passionately about this city and each and every one of its people. There was no such thing as a “stranger” to Meyera, and she was most passionate and engaged when she was out in the neighborhoods and businesses, talking and listening to the citizens. She knew every neighborhood, every civic league, every issue and every concern because she listened and she cared. If you were having a meeting, a celebration or honoring someone, there was always a chair for Meyera – you knew she wouldn’t think of missing it.
For 20 years as mayor, along with her service as vice mayor, a member of City Council and a member of the City’s Library Board, Meyera dedicated her life to the City of Virginia Beach and its people. She was our greatest ambassador, and as an elected official, she acted based on her love, concern and commitment to the cares and concerns of the people. We all share great pride in her historic and distinguished career.
I personally enjoyed serving on the Virginia Beach City Council with Meyera. Virginia Beach made much progress as a result of her passionate leadership. She had a very special way of building consensus and of putting a smile on people’s faces.
Bev and I and our family offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones, and share with them our belief that there will never be anyone like her again, and because of her dedication to this City and its people, she has chiseled her name and memory into our hearts and history.
Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim
Meyera was one of a kind, a wonderful lady, a great public servant, and a fierce advocate for Virginia Beach. We will miss her greatly.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Meyera Oberndorf. Meyera and I served as Virginia mayors at the same time, and she was exceptional in so many ways. In addition to being the longest-serving mayor of Virginia Beach, she was the first woman to hold that office and was beloved by the entire Virginia Beach community. Because of these distinctions, her quick wit and her commitment to public service, she will be greatly missed by those who knew her and those she represented.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner
Meyera was a friend of mine for more than 20 years. She was trailblazing leader, a real sparkplug and dedicated public servant. She demonstrated that leadership, at its core, is about steady competence and connecting with people in a genuine way. No one was a better advocate for their citizens than Meyera. Agree or disagree with her – Meyera was a force of nature.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to Meyera’s family on their loss. She will truly be missed.
Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Meyera Oberndorf. She served the City of Virginia Beach for the better part of three decades, including 20 years as its Mayor. During her tenure, she was an extremely effective advocate and unifying force for the city. I will greatly miss her friendship and her counsel on issues impacting the Hampton Roads region. My thoughts and prayers are with the Oberndorf family, the citizens of Virginia Beach, and her many longtime friends and supporters.
Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam
Pam and I are saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Oberndorf; who was a genuine trailblazer for women in politics and the epitome of a true public servant. For more than 30 years she represented the people and the needs of Virginia Beach with integrity and honor. We are forever grateful for her service on city council, as vice mayor, and as mayor. She will be remembered for her leadership, rooted in her deep concern for the community, which excelled at finding common ground and real solutions. Her family, friends, and the Virginia Beach community are in our thoughts and prayers; she will be greatly missed.