East Orange remembers New Jersey’s trailblazing Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver

Sheila Oliver’s death resonates especially in Essex County. She was raised in Newark and lived in East Orange for more than 40 years.

Lanette Espy and Tony Caputo

Aug 2, 2023, 10:18 AM

Updated 318 days ago

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People across the state are mourning the loss of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver who died after being hospitalized this week for an undisclosed medical issue.
Her cause of death remains undisclosed. Oliver was 71 years old.
Meantime, Gov. Phil Murphy now has 45 days to name a new second in command. As of now, Senate President Nick Scutari has been serving as acting governor. Scutari has been in this position since Oliver was hospitalized Monday while Murphy was out of the country. Scutari will remain in charge until Murphy returns to New Jersey.
Oliver’s death resonated across the state, especially in Essex County. She was raised in Newark and lived in East Orange for more than 40 years.
News 12 New Jersey's Tony Caputo visited East Orange Wednesday morning outside the school named in her honor - the Sheila Y. Oliver Academy. An American flag outside the school is at half-staff.
Those in the community remember Oliver not just as their advocate at the statehouse but also as a mentor, role model and friend.
AbdulSaleem Hasan, Ed.S. Superintendent of Schools, wrote in a statement that Oliver was involved in various policy initiatives, focusing on education, affordable housing, economic development, and social justice issues.
“As a dedicated public servant, she played a vital role in shaping New Jersey’s policies and initiatives. Her commitment to education and advocacy for the betterment of our community will always be remembered and appreciated,” Hasan wrote.
In honor of Oliver’s passion for education, Hasan says it's important to reflect on her legacy and the impact she had on the community.
"Let her dedication to public service serve as an inspiration to all of us, especially our students, to make a positive difference in the world," he wrote.
Friends in the community also remember Oliver’s nonprofit work and advocacy for low-income families.
Dem. State Committee Chairman Leroy Jones Jr. says, "she just had that infectious personality, that sense that tomorrow was always going to be bright no matter how dark it appeared, there was always going to be that silver lining."
Details of funeral services for Oliver were not immediately made available.


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