William F. Shuler, who served on the Dover Board of Education for 52 years, died on May 12 of pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
He was 90.
Shuler was first elected to the school board in 1964 and re-elected seventeen times. At the time of his retirement in 2016, he became the second longest-serving school board member in New Jersey history.
His 52 years falls just shortly behind Calvin Back, 85, who was elected to the Middle Township Board of Education in 1962, at age 27, and was re-elected to a 20th term in November 2019.
The record for the longest tenure in public office in New Jersey is held by Frank E. Rodgers, who spent 60 years in public office before his retirement in 1995.
Rodgers was a Harrison councilman from 1935 to 1945 and mayor from 1945 to 1995 – a 50-year tenure that is believed to be the record for continuous service as a mayor in the United States. He also served one term as a state senator and as a Hudson County freeholder and county clerk.
During his 52 years in office, Shuler served numerous terms as board president.
Shuler was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He owned Shuler Tire Service in Dover and was a founder of the Dover Little League.
He is survived by his wife, Peg, his three children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His son, Jim, died in 2010.