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East Orange community mourns passing of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver lived in East Orange for more than 40 years.

News 12 Staff

Aug 2, 2023, 12:21 AM

Updated 326 days ago


The East Orange community is mourning the loss of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who died on Tuesday after a brief hospital stay.
Oliver lived in East Orange for more than 40 years. The community is remembering her not just as their advocate at the New Jersey State House, but as a mentor, role model and friend.
“There is a void that has been left behind that no one can fill,” says state Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake.
An American flag outside the school that bares Oliver’s name is at half-staff.
“Lt. Gov. Oliver is our queen. The people of East Orange know her and reverence her,” Timberlake says.
Timberlake now occupies the State House seat that her mentor, Oliver, once held. She says it was Oliver who encouraged her to run for office.
“She cared a lot about women. She cared a lot about women's rights. She cared about equality,” Timberlake says.
Geraldine Woods Coles worked on Oliver’s staff when she was in the General Assembly.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo remembers Lt. Gov. Oliver
“She always helped everyone,” Coles says, adding that she saw Oliver’s advocacy up close. “I’m devastated. I loved her very much.”
Those in the East Orange community remembered Oliver for her nonprofit work and advocacy for low-income families.
Conchita Crawford runs the East Orange Community Development Corporation. She has known Oliver for decades.
"She's touched a lot of lives and a lot of lives are going to be touched by her absence,” Crawford says.
Members of the community say that they expect many tributes and events to honor Oliver over the coming weeks. Details about Oliver’s funeral have not yet been released.
WATCH: Discussing the legacy of Lt. Gov. Shelia Oliver and what comes next

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