SPARTA - Harold T. McGovern, 84, trial lawyer and longtime resident of Sparta, died Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Jersey City May 6, 1929, Mr. McGovern attended St. Peter's Preparatory School, in Jersey City. Following graduation from St. Peter's College, Mr. McGovern graduated with a Juris Doctorate from New York University
School of Law, in New York City in 1955.
Mr. McGovern initially practiced law with Carpenter Bennett in Perth Amboy. In 1960, he joined his brother William McGovern and Steven Roseman to establish the law firm of McGovern & Roseman (formerly Mackerley & Friedman) in Newton. Mr. McGovern specialized in family law matters, workman compensation and personal injury actions. He obtained numerous notable victories, both individually and with his partners, including some statewide precedent-setting decisions.
Mr. McGovern was admitted to practice law before both the New York and New Jersey Bar, the United States District Court (NJ), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He was a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and Sussex County Bar Association, where he served on various committees including those for Ethics, Civil Practice, Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments, as well as the Judicial Selection Committee. In 2001, Mr. McGovern was the Sussex County recipient of the Law Professional of the Year given by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. He was a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of the Lake R.C. Church in Sparta. He had been named an affiliate of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of Friars. Mr. McGovern served more than 20 years as an officer of the Sussex County Mental Health Board, including more than 10 years as the board's chairman.
In 1957, Harold married Jean Kostowski, and they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary this past October. In addition to his devoted wife, Mr. McGovern is survived by his son, Harold V. McGovern, of Kirkland, Wash.; daughters, Laura Wood of Chantilly, Va., and Carolyn Henriquez of Panama City, Panama; nine grandchildren; and his two sisters, Marjorie Harmon and Colette Lang. He most enjoyed spending time with his family and traveling both in the United States and abroad to visit his children and grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday Sept. 3, at Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic Church, 294 Sparta Ave., Sparta. Burial will immediately follow in the North Hardyston Cemetery, Hardyston Township. Visitation will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2, at Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home, 156 Main St. (Route 206), Newton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Capuchin Friars through the Capuchin Friars Development Office, P.O. Box 809, Union City, NJ 07087. Online condolences may be offered through the www.iliff-ruggierofuneralhome.com