Rare historic honor for the late New Jersey Governor Sheila Oliver

The late New Jersey Gov. Sheila Oliver will be laid out in state at two government buildings this week – the first person in modern history to receive the honor in the state capital.

Gov. Phil Murphy, 65, announced the body of the 71-year-old pioneering politician – who died Tuesday of an undisclosed illness – will be interred Thursday for public viewing at the State House in Trenton, as well as New York’s State House in Trenton’s Historic Courthouse of Essex County on Friday in Newark, where Oliver was born.

“Together we will honor and celebrate her remarkable contributions to the state she loved,” Murphy wrote Twitter.

Oliver’s body is escorted by the New Jersey State Police Honor Guard and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.

Her funeral will be held on August 12 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. The public is invited, but her funeral will be private.

“While we share our sadness at the loss of our family member and friend Lt. As Gov. Sheila Oliver comes together, we will remember the legacy she leaves as a change maker and enabler,” Murphy said Thursday.

New Jersey Governor Sheila Oliver.
New Jersey Gov. Sheila Oliver died Tuesday of an undisclosed illness.

Rotunda in the NJ Statehouse.
Gov. Phil Murphy, 65, announced that Oliver’s body would be laid out Thursday at the State House in Trenton.

Historic Essex County Courthouse.
Oliver’s body will also be laid out Friday at the Essex County Historic Courthouse in Newark, where she was born.

“Together we will recognize and celebrate her remarkable contributions to the state she loved and the profound impact she had on the millions who call New Jersey home.”

Oliver, a Democrat, was the first black woman to hold office. Before becoming Lieutenant Governor, she served in the State Assembly for 16 years and was Speaker of the New Jersey Legislature for four years.

She will be the first person in modern New Jersey history to be laid in state in the state capital NJ.com.

Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver.
Murphy was returning home early from a vacation in Italy when he heard the news of his lieutenant governor’s death.

Murphy, who had returned early from a family vacation in Italy when she learned of her death, ordered flags to be flown halfway up in her honor.

Oliver died of an undisclosed illness after being admitted to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey on Monday.

Her family said in a statement: “Not only was she a respected civil servant, but she was also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend and heroine.”


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing diza@ustimetoday.com.

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