U.S — The residents of East Orange are in grief following the passing of former Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver on Tuesday. Oliver passed away following a brief stint in the hospital. Over the course of more than 40 years, Oliver called East Orange home.
The community will remember her not only as their advocate at the New Jersey State House, but also as a friend, mentor, and role model. She will be much missed. “There is a void that has been left behind that no one can fill,” says Britnee Timberlake, a member of the Louisiana Assembly. “No one can fill that void.”
The American flag that bears Oliver’s name and flies outside of the school is lowered to half-staff. Our queen is Lieutenant Governor Oliver. “The residents of East Orange are familiar with her and hold her in high regard,” Timberlake says. Currently, Timberlake can be seen serving in the State House in the same capacity as her former mentor, Oliver. She claims that Oliver was the one who inspired her to run for government in the first place.
“She had a great deal of concern for women. She was really concerned about the rights of women. According to Timberlake, she was concerned about equality. During the time that Geraldine Woods Coles was in the General Assembly, she was a member of Oliver’s staff. Coles affirms, “She always helped everyone,” and goes on to claim that she was able to observe Oliver’s campaigning firsthand. “I’m utterly heartbroken. I had a deep and abiding love for her.”
Oliver was remembered in the community of East Orange for her work with charitable organizations and activism on behalf of families with modest incomes. The East Orange Community Development Corporation is under Conchita Crawford’s administration. She has been familiar with Oliver for many years.
Crawford says, “She’s touched a lot of lives, and a lot of lives are going to be touched by the fact that she’s not going to be here.” According to members of the community, they anticipate that there will be a multitude of memorials and gatherings held in Oliver’s honor over the next few weeks. There has been no announcement made regarding the funeral arrangements for Oliver.