Former Rochelle Park mayor Wilbur Lotz, who first won public office when Dwight Eisenhower was still president and served until he was 93, passed away on Friday. He was 102.
Lotz was elected to the Rochelle Park Board of Education in 1957, and as a Republican to the township committee in 1960. He was re-elected in 1963, 1966 and 1969, and spent three years as mayor. He ran a local program that administered the Salk vaccine to prevent the spread of polio in his community.
In 1972, Lotz did not seek re-election to a fifth term on the township committee, and instead accepted an appointment to the Bergen County Parks Commission. He served as a commissioner for five years.
He returned to local politics in 1991, at age 75, defeating a Democratic incumbent in a race for township committee. Lotz was re-elected in 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006. He did not seek re-election in 2009, when he was 93.