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Senator Leonard T. Connors Jr.


1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Senator Leonard T. Connors Jr. Obituary
Senator Leonard T. Connors, Jr.

AGE: 87 • Surf City

Former 9th Legislative District Senator and Surf City Mayor Leonard T. Connors, Jr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at the age of 87, surrounded by family. He is survived by his loving wife, Lorraine of 64 years, his two sons Howell Police Captain Leonard T. Connors, III and Senator Christopher J. Connors, his daughter-in-laws Deborah A. Connors and Denise Connors, grandchildren Christopher J. Connors, Jr., Kelly Ann Weiner, James Klass and Kelly Klass, a great granddaughter Reagan Ann Weiner and a great grandson Joseph Klass.

Senator Connors was born in Jersey City on April 11, 1929. He was a graduate of Wood-Ridge High School and a veteran of the Air Force in which he served from 1947 to 1949. Senator Connors retired after a career in the construction industry and entered public service full time as an Ocean County Freeholder in 1977. Senator Connors served as Mayor of the Borough of Surf City from 1966 to 2015. He was among the longest serving mayors in the country. He was the borough's tax assessor from 1957 to 1962, and served on the Borough Council from 1962 to 1965. He began serving his two terms as Ocean County Freeholder in 1977. He was the former Director of National Association of Coastal Mayors. Senator Connors was among the founders, in 1978, of Ocean County's first Commission for Handicapped Persons. He served on the County's Tourism Council and Women's Commission and served as a Director of the United Way Campaign.

Senator Connors was elected to the New Jersey Senate in 1981, and served until his retirement in 2007. He served as Chairman of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee while serving as a ranking member of the State Government Committee. He served as a member of the bipartisan Legislative Service Commission. He was the Ocean County Campaign Chairman for former Governor Thomas H. Kean and served as a member of Kean's blue ribbon Task Force examining solutions for the crisis in child support arrearages. Senator Connors was also appointed to the Senate Select Committee to study the automobile insurance crisis. In 1989, he was appointed to the Senate Special Committee on Coastal and Ocean Pollution, and in 1990, to the Senate Select Task Force on Senior Citizen Issues.

In 1983 and 1984, Senator Connors received the "Legislator of the Year Award" from the V.F.W.; the 1983 "Good Fellow Award" from the Italian-American Club of Cedar Run; the 1987 "Humanitarian Award" as a Co-Honoree of the Associated Humane Society; the 1989 "Art Schwerzel Good Scout Award"; the 1990 "Legislator of the Year Award" of the New Jersey Sheriffs Association; the 1992 "Community Service Award" from the Italian-American Society of Ocean County; the 1993 "Legislator of the Year Award" of the New Jersey Association of County Finance Officers; the 1993 "Humanitarian Award" from the Ocean County Association for Retarded Citizens and was inducted as an Honorary Lifetime Member of the New Jersey Jail Wardens Association for his sponsorship of legislation critical for County Correction Departments; received the 1995 "Legislator of the Year " Award of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors; the 1995 Paul Harris Fellowship Award of the Lakehurst/Manchester Rotary Club; the 1996 Public Service Award from the Ladies Auxiliary of the Retired Police and Firemen's Association of Ocean County Local No. 8; was named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Retired Police and Firemen's Association of Ocean County Local No. 8; recipient of the 1997 Life Membership Award from the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association; was named 1999 "Citizen of the Year" by the Bayville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9503; was named 2000 "Legislator of the Year" by VFW Post 6063; received the 2000 Distinguished Service Award from the State VFW Commander; was appointed in 2001 by Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco to serve as a member on the World War II Veterans Memorial Advisory Committee; received the New Jersey Civilian Commendation Medal from the New Jersey National Guard Association for 2001; received the Patrick Henry Award from the New Jersey National Guard Association for 2001 and received the Legislative Achievement Award for 2001 from the Sate Retired Police and Firemen's Association.

A Funeral Mass will be offered on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Township, NJ 08008. In lieu of flowers, donations in Senator Connor's memory may be made to Alzheimer's New Jersey, 400 Morris Avenue, Suite 251, Denville, NJ 07834. Arrangements are under the direction of Bugbee-Riggs Funeral Home, 1119 Long Beach Blvd. (corner of 12th St.) Ship Bottom, NJ 08008.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Dec. 8, 2016
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