Cooper University Health Care System CEO and President John P. Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, died Sunday morning in a house fire in their bedroom in Montgomery Township. Sheridan was 72 years old, and his wife was 69.
Firefighters found the couple when they were called to the their home on Meadow Run Drive early Sunday.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said the fire was confined to the Sheridans’ bedroom. Witnesses said the fire began around 6 a.m. Neighbors saw smoke coming from the house, but not flames.
Detectives from its arson task force are investigating the fire along with and the major crimes unit, the crime scene investigation unit, and forensic units.
Sheridan joined Cooper as senior executive vice president in July 2005. He became chief administrative officer in 2007 and president of Cooper University Hospital in September 2007 and was appointed president and CEO of The Cooper Health System in 2008.
“It is hard to overstate how great a loss John’s death is to his family, friends, co-workers and Cooper,” said George Norcross III, the chairman of the Cooper Health System Board of Trustees, in a news release about the deaths.
Sheridan served on the boards of trustees of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals and the New Jersey Hospital Association and served on the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey board and executive committee and on Gov. Christie’s health-care transition subcommittee in 2010. He was a member of the board of trustees for the Carrier Clinic for 25 years.
He was New Jersey commissioner of transportation under Gov. Thomas H. Kean and served as New Jersey deputy attorney general and assistant counsel for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and was counsel for the New Jersey Senate majority.
He served in the Army from 1968 to 1978, and graduated from St. Peter’s College and Rutgers Law School.
Sheridan and his wife, a retired teacher, have four grown sons and several grandchildren.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office is asking anyone with information about the fire to call the county tip line at 888-577-8477.