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In Memoriam

By David Wildstein, May 22 2023 9:50 am

Ralph Bayard, a Long Beach Township Commissioner, died on April 26.  He was 87 and serving his 20th year as a commissioner at the time of his death.

Milton Gelzer, a Superior Court judge from 1993 to 1999, died on April 18.  He was 89.  Gelzer’s start in politics came as a law clerk to William Hiering, a Republican state senator and assemblyman from Ocean County.  He won a seat on the Toms River Consolidated school board in 1961, and later formed a law firm with Thomas Kelaher, a future Ocean County prosecutor and Toms River mayor.  He served as township attorney and school board attorney in several municipalities, and as the South Toms River municipal court judge.  He also served on the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education and on the Stockton University Board of Trustees.

Richard Chapman, an Ocean City resident who served as the Eastern States Regional Coordinator for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign and was a McGovern delegate from Pennsylvania to the Democratic National Convention, died on February 17.  He was 82.  He managed Ed Rendell’s winning campaign for Philadelphia District Attorney in 1977, ran a campaign to unseat Philadelphia Mayor Phil Rizzo, and worked on Thomas Eagleton’s U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri.

Rudolph Kolb, a former Ridgefield councilman and board member, died on April 30.  He was 96.  Kolb was a U.S. Navy veteran during World War II.

Joseph Makowski, who served on the Bayonne City Council from 1982 to 1998, died on May 13.  He was 74.  Makowski served as a session day aide to Assembly Speaker Joseph Doria.

Robert Passero, who served as a Superior Court judge from 1988 to 2008, died on May 9.  He was 84.  Passero spent nine years as the assignment judge in Passaic County.

Bill Amanna
, a Bergen Record reporter in the early 1960s, died on April 13.  He was 88.

Paul Abati, a former Piscataway councilman, died on May 13.  He was 92.

Ralph Faase, a former Prospect Park municipal court judge, died on May 7.  He was 77.  An attorney for numerous zoning boards in New Jersey, he was the law partner of election law expert John Carbone.

Sue Discher, who served as  the Haddon Township Democratic Municipal Chair, died on May 14. She was 86.  Discher served on the Haddon Township planning and zoning boards.

John Brunini, a former Buena Borough councilman, died on May 2.  He was 73.  Brunini served as chairman of the Buena Planning Board and the municipal utilities authority and was a member of IBEW Local 351.

Donald Thomas, a former South Amboy, died on May 5.  He was 65.

Jack Wichterman, who served on the Ringwood Borough Council in the early 1970s, died on April 18.  He was 86.

Patricia Colagiuri, the Montclair Republican vice chair in the early 1980s, died on May 10.  She was 89.

Barbara Kramar a former Democratic county committeewoman in Magnolia, died on May 3.  She was 87.

Odessa Tennant-Roberts, a former Mullica Democratic Club President, died on May 7.  She was 80.

Babe Wagner, a longtime Democratic county committeewoman in Gloucester Township died on April 27.  She was 72.

Barbara Carletta, a former Paramus Board of Health president and Republican county committeewoman, died on May 15.  She was 82.

Mary Chin, whose late husband, Allen, served as mayor of Westfield in the 1970s, died on April 28.  She was 87.

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