His name may be synonymous to some as the park in Ocean Township, but to so many others former Monmouth County state senator Joe Palaia was so much more. His passing at age 89 has many in mourning.

"I am saddened by the loss of Joe Palaia," said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. in a statement "He was one of the kindest and most decent legislators to ever serve in Trenton."

Palaia was a teacher and principal at Ocean Township's Wanamassa Elementary School, was on the township council and then elected mayor before serving on the board of chosen freeholders, and served as a state senator from 1989-2008, according to the patch.

There will be a wake service for Palaia on Tuesday from 4 p.m - 8 p.m at Francioni, Taylor and Lopez Funeral Home in Neptune.



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