Former Montgomery Police Chief Joseph Oliver dies at 90

Joseph Oliver, Sr.

Joseph G. Oliver, Sr. a loving and devoted husband, father, uncle, and friend who served as the police chief in Montgomery and as a sergeant for the state, died on March 11. He was 90.

Born in Skillman on June 7, 1932, Joe built his forever home on Burnt Hill Road. Best known to many as “Duke,” Joe went to Princeton High School and later served in the New Jersey National Guard (50th Armored Division) in the 1950s. He then began his long-term career in law enforcement which he proudly served. He worked full-time with the New Jersey Department of Human Services Police in addition to working part-time as the chief of police in Montgomery Township. He went on to retire after 39 years of service in 1989 as a sergeant with the Department of Human Services. He served as a member of PBA #113 and the New Jersey Law Enforcement Supervisors Association and was also a long-time member of the Princeton Elks Lodge #2129 for 50-plus years.

Duke loved watching his Yankees win and always enjoyed his trips with family members to New York City to watch his Bronx Bombers at the stadium. Joe and Joyce loved their summer vacations for many years in the Outer Banks with family and friends. He enjoyed surf fishing down the Jersey Shore and the Outer Banks. After retiring he looked forward to his Atlantic City bus trips. He loved spending time at Joe and Deb’s home, especially summer picnics and celebrating holidays with loved ones. Dining out for breakfast was a daily must and enjoyed conversations with all his diner buddies. He was the master chef in the kitchen (known for saying “garlic rules”). Lastly, he was the ultimate handyman with mechanics and carpentry, always willing to lend a helping hand to all.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 yrs., lifelong sweetheart Joyce Oliver and his son Joseph, Jr. and wife Deborah. He is predeceased by his parents, Gasper and Mary Oliver; sisters, Anne Soriero (husband, Tony), Jenny Ficcara (husband, Michael), Margaret Mandraccia (husband, Michael) and Grace Cocciolillo (husband, Raymond); brother Samuel Oliver (wife, Mary); and sister-in-law, Ellen Warren.

In addition, he is survived by his brother-in-law, Jon Christiansen (wife, Renee); nephews and nieces Charlie (wife, Marilyn), Pat (wife, Geri), Michael Cocciolillo (wife, Michelle), Michael Mandaccia (Celeste), Gaye (husband Ed), Emily (husband, Bill); and many great nephews and nieces. Lastly, he is survived by his longtime friend Chris Dwyer.

Joe “Duke” Oliver it’s time to “saddle up” to your now forever home in heaven.

The viewing will be held Wednesday, March 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wilson-Apple 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington. Funeral services will follow at noon. The burial will be at Highland Cemetery in Hopewell.