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Mahwah Mayor Richard Martel Dies

Township mourns loss of a "great man for Mahwah," according to Council President John DaPuzzo

Richard Martel, Mayor of Mahwah since 1997, died at Valley Hospital early Monday morning "after a brief illness," according to Business Administrator Brian Campion.

"It is with great sadness that the Township of Mahwah acknowledges the passing of Mayor Richard J. Martel," Campion released in a statement.

Campion said the Mayor passed away peacefully, with his family by his side. Martel was married to Claudia Martel for over 45 years. He had three sons and three grandchildren.

The township says flags will be flown at half staff today in his honor.

Martel, originally from Lewiston, Maine, moved to Mahwah after being stationed in the township during his three-year service in the armed forces, according to Campion. A resident of the township for over 40 years, Martel became known throughout the community as an involved politician.

In addition to serving as mayor, Martel has served in the past as a member of the Recreation Committee, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning Board, Housing Commission, Board of Trustees, Mahwah Youth Sports Boosters, and as the Township Council's President.

Beyond Mahwah, Martel was elected in 2007 to be the President of the Northwest Bergen Mayors' Association, and was involved with the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, New Jersey League of Municipalities, and the Bergen League of Municipalities.

News broke on Patch last week that a week ago due to respiratory ailments. 

According to Campion, funeral arrangements are being made by the Martel family, and will be released soon.

The Township Council now has 30 days to decide who will fill Martel's position.

Township government officials are expressing great sadness at the Mayor's passing. In a statement to Patch, Town Council President John DaPuzzo expressed his sympathy at this loss.

"Mahwah is missing a great man. He has shaped this town into what it is now. The town and I thank him for all of his service, and for always putting Mahwah above himself."

Patricia shada March 07, 2011 at 05:00 PM
You will be missed by all of us. God bless the Martel family. Love and prayers, Tricia Shada
Suzanne Curry March 07, 2011 at 09:13 PM
My condolences to the entire Martel family. He will be missed by all and we will miss seeing him on the ballfields watching his grandson. Sincerely, Suzanne Curry
H lisa DiGiulio March 07, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Mahwah has lost a great friend and I have lost a personal friend. A man who gave so much of his life and time to Mahwah. Very simply HE CARED ... Lisa DiGiulio
Mari Meli March 08, 2011 at 02:39 AM
It broke my heart to hear this sad news, and I know that sentiment is shared by so many. This man was truly dedicated to this community, giving so much of himself for the township. While I didn't know him personally, I work with his wife, and the stories of him that she has shared always gave me a smile or a laugh, and the understanding of what a sweet man he was. I hope that, as a community, we can put together some plan to honor him in the most meaningful way. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family. Mari Meli
Terry Wendrychowicz March 10, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Over the past few days since the passing of Mayor Richard Martel we have read so much about his accomplishments - his love, dedication and passion for the town he loved and the people who live here. Yes he was a statesman as his longtime friend Lou Rizzo said and the "Mayor of Oz" as he was called by Bill Laforet. But to many he was so much more than "Mayor." He was a husband, dad, father-in-law, future father-in-law, "pop," brother, brother-in-law and uncle. To "Our Group" on Strong Street he has been a friend and neighbor for almost 40 years as we raised our families here, watched each others children marry and become parents and shared so many other wonderful "Memories." Now along with those from "Our Group" who have passed before, Dick, too will be remembered as we ring in a New Year, get together for our Super Bowl parties and celebrate with cook outs for the 4th of July and Labor Day. DEAR FRIEND - you will be missed and remembered. Love from The Wendrychowicz, Woodall, Fagan, Checke and Dursema Families


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