Planet Princeton

Obituary: Michael J. Herbert

Michael J. Herbert

Prominent Princeton area lawyer Michael J. Herbert died Monday after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Over the years, Herbert served as the lawyer for several area municipal government bodies, including Princeton and West Windsor, and was the longtime lawyer for the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association.

“I had the opportunity to work with him over many years, and he was always quite articulate,” said Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman. “He served the borough well, including helping us with our major redevelopment project.”

At the beginning of the council meeting Tuesday night, officials asked for a moment of silence to remember Herbert and his accomplishments.

“We miss him not just because of his service to the borough, but because he was a dynamite person,” Trotman said.

Herbert, a Titusville resident, was born in Jersey City, and moved to Trenton in 1965. He served in the U.S. Army, and received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Jersey City State College. He was an Eagleton Fellow at Rutgers University, where he received his master’s degree, and he earned his law degree from Seton Hall University in 1970.

While attending law school at night, Mr. Herbert served as Secretary to Governor Richard J. Hughes, as executive assistant to the Chancellor of Higher Education, and on the staff of the Commissioner of Community Affairs. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1970.

He was a senior partner in the Lawrenceville law firm of Herbert, Van Ness, Cayci and Goodell and was widely respected and often lectured on legal topics. His son Michael W. Herbert followed in his father’s footsteps and joined his dad’s law firm.
Herbert was active in civic affairs, and served on the board of trustees and as president of Catholic Charities. Since 1983, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey City University Foundation, Inc.

Son of the late William J. and Margaret F. Garrahy Herbert, brother of the late Mary McDonald, William and John Herbert, he is survived by his wife, Mary Jo (Auer) Herbert; 4 sons and daughters-in-law, Michael W. and Kimberly Herbert of Hamilton, Christopher J. and Kathleen Herbert of Pine Bush, NY, Brian C. and Rose Herbert of Ewing and Mark P. and Danielle Herbert of Lake Worth, FL; 1 daughter and son-in-law, Susanne and Oliver Giller of Titusville; 7 grandchildren, Amy and her husband, Bryan Gauvin, Melissa A. Herbert, Margaret G. Herbert, Emily Herbert, Meghan Herbert, Alexander Giller and Julia Giller; 2 great grandchildren, Rebecca and Phoenix Gauvin; 1 sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and John McDonald of Manalapan; 2 brothers and 1 sister-in-law, James Herbert of Princeton and Senator Frank and Eleanor Herbert of Sparta; also, many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends tonight, Sept. 15, from 5-9, and again tomorrow from 10-10:45a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church, 115 E. Delaware Ave. in Pennington. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated tomorrow at 11a.m. at the church and the burial will follow at the Harbourton Cemetery.

Contributions in Herbert’s name may be made to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, 383 West State St. Trenton, NJ 08618 Attn: Jane Hargraves. www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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