Eight Bells: Will Jeffers
Published on August 31st, 2022
William Prescott Jeffers, aged 57, passed away suddenly on August 19, 2022 while cooking dinner in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Will was a passionate, thoughtful, and creative soul who relished quality time and good food with family and friends.
Will’s most-cherished hobby was sailing; it was Lightning sailing that introduced Will to his beloved wife of 24 years, Laura Milne Jeffers. Together they traveled the world competing in regattas, enjoying new places, and meeting new friends.
Born in Red Bank, NJ, Will was introduced to sailing at age 13 through River Rats on the Navesink River, and it was this passion that led him to Tulane University, Class of 1987, where he was a dedicated member of the championship sailing team. He then settled on the west coast of Florida where he managed his own waterproofing construction business.
Will continued sailing and was a regular in the J/22, J/24, and Lightning Classes. He was part of the winning team in many North American, National and Mid-Winter Championships, winning the J/24 World Championships in 1998 with Terry Hutchison and 2002 with Brad Read.
The experiences and friendships he made along the way were the biggest wins. Will had just completed the application process to become a certified International Measurer with World Sailing, giving back to the sport that brought him so much joy.
Will enriched every gathering with his exceptional cooking. His New Orleans barbeque shrimp were legendary, so much so that a brother-in-law once “sold” Will a sailboat in exchange for a lifetime supply of his shrimp. He never met a food project too complex, to the delight of his family and to the detriment of many ducks!
Will was also a gifted craftsman; his creations ranged from delicate jewelry and exotic wood kaleidoscopes to numerous home improvement projects. Another passion was music. New Orleans-based musicians were his favorites – the Radiators, Neville Brothers and Dr John – but he also enjoyed reggae and the Grateful Dead. Jazz Fest in NOLA was always a favorite trip.
Will is predeceased by his father, William Jeffers, of Fair Haven, NJ. Will leaves behind wife Laura and their cherished dog Breezy, of Tarpon Springs, FL; mother, Maureen Jeffers, of Red Bank, NJ; mother-in-law, Barbara Milne of Manchester, NH; brother Mark and sister-in-law Laurie Jeffers of Fair Haven, NJ; sister Sue Carter and brother-in-law Nick Carter of Riverside, CT; and nieces and nephews and additional extended family across the United States.
A celebration of Will’s life will be held on October 8, 2022 from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, with reflections at 2:00 pm, at Monmouth Boat Club, 31 Union St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. A charitable contribution in memory of Will can be made to the International Lightning Class Association Boat Grant Program: https://www.lightningclass.org/boatgrantdonation