John Adler
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TRENTON - John Adler, a New Jersey politician who worked his way up from town councilman to congressman, died Monday. He was 51.

A spokeswoman for the Democrat confirmed his death Monday.

He had been at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia since last month, when he underwent emergency surgery for an infection in the tissue around his heart.

Adler was among the Democratic members of Congress who lost his job their jobs in last November's election., being He was defeated by former Philadelphia Eagles lineman Jon Runyan.

Adler grew up in the Philadelphia bedroom community of Haddonfield, where his father ran a dry cleaning business. When Adler was in junior high school, his father began having heart attacks that left him unable to work. He died before Adler graduated from high school.

Adler went to Harvard College, then Harvard Law School. He was just 28 and back in New Jersey as a young lawyer when he won a seat on the township council in Cherry Hill.

Adler was elected to the state Senate in 1991, the only Democrat that year to unseat a Republican incumbent in New Jersey's legislative races. He was re-elected five terms and continued working as a lawyer.

He moved to Congress in 2008 by winning in a traditionally Republican district after longtime Rep. Jim Saxton retired.The open seat, coupled with a popular presidential candidate in Barack Obama, made a Democratic victory possible that year. Circumstances shifted over the next two years, making his seat difficult to retain. Obama's popularity had waned, and Adler was facing a well-known and well-liked Republican opponent in former Philadelphia Eagles lineman Jon Runyan.

The campaign brought to light a rare scuff on Adler's reputation when a newspaper linked a third-party candidate's campaign to area Democratic Party officials. The third-party candidate, Peter DeStefano, denied he was put up by Adler or Democrats, and Adler denied any involvement.

He was feisty and typically quick-tongued in what would be his last campaign. When Runyan said during a debate that the nation's founders expected people to serve in government then return to civilian life, Adler retorted: "Most of our founding fathers, were, in fact, career politicians."

But he ultimately lost the election.

Adler denied interview requests after his defeat.

He underwent emergency heart surgery last month after contracting staph bacterial endocarditis, an infection in tissue around the heart.

Adler is survived by his wife, Shelley, and his four sons.

A state Senate budget hearing was interrupted Monday afternoon as lawmakers learned of his death.

In a statement, Runyan said he respected Adler's leadership and commitment. "May John rest in peace, and may those he left behind be comforted in the knowledge that his lifetime of public service to our community has left a lasting legacy for which they can be most proud."

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, a Democrat from Newark, recalled how Adler was a prime force behind the state's law that bans smoking in most public buildings.

"His passing is a tragic loss for our state, but his legacy of intelligent and classy leadership will not be forgotten. Every time we breathe clean air at a restaurant, for instance, we can thank John Adler," Oliver said in a statement.

He also sponsored a state law toughening car emission standards and was a leading backer of state laws to take away pensions for government employees with corruption convictions.

"Congressman Adler was a fine public servant and a good person," Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement. "His untimely death is an awful shock."

New Jersey Sierra Club executive director Jeff Tittel called Adler "a true environmental hero" for his work in protecting open space and the clean air with the car emissions law he championed, among other legislation.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican whose district bordered Adler's, served with him in both Trenton and Washington.

"I can attest that he was a good man who was deeply dedicated to South Jersey and those he represented," he said.

Mulvihill reported from Haddonfield.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Apr. 5, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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109 entries
January 13, 2017
Valenda Newell
December 17, 2011
It hurts to lose someone that we love, someone who has worked so tirelessly for others. May the God of all comfort grant you a measure of peace at this difficult time.
July 23, 2011
July 7, 2011
Death is truly an enemy, to the family of John, May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Ps. 46:1
June 10, 2011
Dear Adler and other families,
I am sorry for your loss. He won hearts of millions. God bless him and his family.
Vasilios Emmanuel Glimidakis
April 26, 2011
To the family and friends of John Adler please accept my heartfelt condolences. The death of a loved one is one of the most devastating experiences a person can face, be assured that you are not alone in your grief. I find much comfort from the Bible where it assures us that "Our Heavenly Father will wipe out every tear from our eyes, and death will be no more. Recalling happy memories of the times you had together will help you to keep smiles on your faces and joy in your hearts.
Gail Gamble
April 21, 2011
Our sincere condolences for the entire family. From the Waterford Township Democrat Club.
Laura Sharp
April 11, 2011
John Adler saved my Autistic son and Myself when no one else would listen. He took the time I am forever thankful! God Bless his loved ones!
Dawn Brazenor
April 11, 2011
Dear Shelley - I am a friend of Carol Gaskill's and had the pleasure of meeting you and John at Chris Gaskill's wedding.

My sincere condolences to you and to your boys.

Patricia Hibbs
Morriston, FL
Patricia Hibbs
April 11, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Lori Houchins
April 10, 2011
god bless you john adler, i worked for you and i will miss you, you were a great man.
jeannie radwan
April 10, 2011
Politics aside, we remember John as a true gentleman. Our sincere condolences.

Lucia(Rosa Middle School)and Richard Stanley
April 9, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
A. M. Wiggins
April 9, 2011
May the God of all comfort and tender mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3) be with the family of John Adler during there time of grief and sorrow.
B Johnson
April 8, 2011
Congressmen Adler will be remembered for his helping of veterans, and the working people. Mr. Adler attended a Sat. meeting of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #899,(Bordentown, NJ.) one afternoon to talk to us veterans and I will never forget that day, because a U.S. Congressmen would take his OWN TIME to come to our meeting and give us a "moving" speech. And to THANK US FOR OUR SERVICE & TO WELCOME US HOME.
Bob Lecato
April 8, 2011
To The Family and other friends of John Adler

I know that I speak for ALL of Southern Ocean Medical Center when I write of how horrifically saddened we all are by this special man's untimely passing. Heaven must have needed him more than we in the struggling health care community. In his time and efforts he showed us that he understood so well our struggles and gave us so much support and optimism.

What an amazing man and what an amazing loss for each one of us.

Our sympathies and hugs for each family member and each friend are extended, intended to be shared at this extremely difficult time for us all in loosing such a beautiful human being - on all accounts.

Southern Ocean Medical Center
April 8, 2011
Our deepest condolences to the Adler family. John was a brilliant attorney, a true public servant, a quick wit, and, most of all, a dedicated husband and father. We will miss his kindness, good humor and cheerful confidence, and hope to incorporate some of his great spirit into our own. Although his life was too short, he accomplished so much. Not only in public office, but also in daily life. Every person who interacted with John walked away a bit happier, and a bit more confident that life would bring good things. He will be missed, remembered and cherished.
Thomas and Carol Harding
April 8, 2011
Our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Adler Family. John was a wonderful person,bright, warm, articulate, with tremendous potential. His untimely death is a tragedy for his family, his friends and his community.
Anna & Bill Tenenblatt
April 8, 2011
May the God of all comfort grant your family peace at this time.
(2 Thess. 2:16)
Chris Williams
April 7, 2011
John was the funniest, warmest, brightest guy around. Having the chance to call him my very good friend for the last 10 years has been an honor. Ever the optimist, John always believed that better times were ahead for everyone. He helped me through tough times, and I was glad to have a chance to share good times with him too, for both of us. I will miss his friendship terribly.
Douglas Johnson
April 7, 2011
Admired John Adler, was disappointed that he wasn't re-elected but now that doesn't matter. He gave alot of his time to his constituents & hopefully he was able to finally spend time with his family before this tragic outcome. He was a good man and his loss is so hard to understand. Rest in peace John, well done.
Joan Kimber
April 7, 2011
April 7, 2011
I was one of many of John's constituents here in Mount Laurel and never had the pleasure of meeting him. I can't tell you how shocked and saddened I feel upon hearing of his untimely passing.
My heart goes out to you and your family during this Shiva period. May your hearts be filled with loving memories and the fact that so many (even strangers like myself) have been affected by John's passing. May God and good friends & family help you through this very difficult time.
Rebecca Samuels
April 7, 2011
April 7, 2011
To The Adler Family - There are no words that will confort you at this time, which is understandable. Releasing someone who was so loved as John will take a lifetime and more. But my prayer for all of you is this, may you find his smile in every sunrise and sunset and when the wind blows softly thru the trees. Even in the thunder, lighting and rain, know that he is very near. May you giggle at stupid movies knowing that he is there laughing with you. May each and everyday give you new strength to go forward as this is the will of God and God will take care of all of you.
We will keep John in our memory forever.
Sheilah Greene
April 7, 2011
Patricia Driscoll
April 6, 2011

John, you will be missed by many....
Randi Salm
April 6, 2011
We all miss you John. My heartfelt sympathies go out to Shelley and her four sons, the youngest being 9. It breaks my heart to think of those boys growing up without a dad but Shelley is a great mom. We love you all.
A very close family friend
April 6, 2011
Our heartfelt sympathies are with Shelley and the 4 boys.. It is a tragic loss for the nation, the state, the Jewish community but most importantly the Adler Family... May all your wonderful memories help to ease the pain at this time... He was a real Mensch!!!
Jill Greenberg
April 6, 2011
John, I didn't know you too well, but you were good friends with both my parents. You lived life to the fullest and you were hilarious! I think you are the only person in the world who has had president Obama call you the "funniest guy in congress". You will be greatly missed by all. RIP
April 6, 2011
I had the chance to share a few dinners, meetings and events with John some years ago, and sitting next to him was a guarantee that within minutes there would be tears of laughter streaming down my face -- and the faces of anyone around him. His incomparable warmth and humor have me smiling as I write. To the entire Adler family, we express our deepest sympathies -- and our gratitude for allowing us to share and enjoy his incredible wit, graciousness and generosity.
David and Joanie Applebaum
April 6, 2011
Dear Adler family i feel so sorry for your loss he was indeed a great role model and politcian. I hope his sons remember him with fond memories. Also, I remember voting for him in November with my mom. My hopes and prayers are with all of you in this hard and difficult time.
Justin Gick
April 6, 2011
Our deepest Sympathy to the Adler Family from the neighbors who he helped on Perkins Lane...He was a wonderful man.
April 6, 2011
Sorry for your troubles
Thomas Marshall
April 6, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with the Adler family. I knew John in high school and remember his great sense of humor and kindness. You could always count on John. I'm so sorry for your loss.
lisa gibson
April 6, 2011
John and I grew up on the same st. Have many great memory from those time. I know that he will be missed by all who knew him
Lee Nelson
April 6, 2011
April 6, 2011
To the Adler family, I send my deepest condolences. Congressman Adler didn't think twice when I asked for his help fighting my claim with the VA. What an honorable man he was. He will sadly be missed.
Mrs. R.
April 6, 2011
My fullest condolences to the Adler family. John was a true leader, especially in afairs that touched our veterans. His work on behalf of the Mission of Honor will always be appreciated by all veterans and their families. Eternal peace my brother.
John DeCoste
April 6, 2011
I am shocked and deeply saddened. John will be forever missed. It was an absolute honor to know him, work for him, and call him a friend. He was the most genuine, admirable, passionate person I've known, and I will always look up to him for who he was and what he did for others. Life is a precious gift, and mine is better for knowing John. May the grace of God bring peace to John's family during this time.
Andrew Steele
April 6, 2011
My deepest condolences to Shelley and the Adler family. John always had my vote. Sherry (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius)
Sherry Sisson
April 6, 2011
"I want the Adler Family to know, they have my deepest sympathy. At times like these, 'God can give us "power beyond what is normal," so we can keep going from one day to the next. (2 Cor. 4:7)

C. Wilson
April 6, 2011
My wife Margaret and I offer our deepest sympathy to the John Adler family for your loss. As a former member of the VFW post 10185 in Toms River I was privilaged to meet the Honorable Rep. on several occasions and was truly impressed by him. We will miss a dedicated patriot.
Ralph & Margaret Bove
April 6, 2011
With deepest sympathy to the family of John Adler - a voice for the Veteran and to all he served.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter NJ899 Bordentown, N.J.
John Lesko
April 6, 2011
May God grant you the strength to endure these difficult times and through the future. Thank you for sharing John with us.

Anthony L. Clark
Former Mayor
Township of Waterford
Anthony Clark
April 6, 2011
My condolences to the Adler family. May the God of all comfort be with you as you cope with your loss.
April 6, 2011
My sympathies to the family of John Adler. I recall working for him as a "floater" legal secretary at Cozen O'Connor in Philadelphia a number of years ago. The firm was in the midst of going from about half a dozen different types of computer software to one, and it was a challenge for him to get his work done. He was a pleasant and decent person, and I always heard well spoken of him. May his service and honesty to his constituents continue to serve as an example of truly helping others. His passing is a loss.
Judith Andress
April 6, 2011
steven leventhal
April 6, 2011
The Camden County American Red Cross mourns the loss of our former Board Member, The Honorable John Adler. We are grateful for his contributions to humanity and extend our deepest sympathy to his family on this tragic loss.
Camy Trinidad
April 6, 2011
My sincere condolences to the family of John Adler. He was a very rare individual who really listened to people and dedicated himself to doing the right thing. He will be missed by all.
M. Miller
April 6, 2011
Our deepest sympathy to Shelley and the boys. Your in our thoughts and prayers. Tom and Sandy Greenwald & Family
Sandy Greenwald
April 6, 2011
Thank you, Sir!
Tom Thorn
April 6, 2011
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Former Assemblyman Edward Kline
April 6, 2011
May you find comfort in knowing that the God of all comfort is there for you, in your time of need.

JG, N.C.
April 6, 2011
I interned for Congressman Adler during the summer of 2009. He was such a nice, down to earth, thoughtful man. My condolences to his family.
Maura Burke
April 6, 2011
He was a true friend of New Jersey's Mission of Honor, and a friend of Vietnam Veterans of America, N.J. Chapter 899. He will be missed by all Veterans.
Brian DuMont
April 5, 2011
My first job was with John as a State Senator in his Haddonfield office in NJ in 1993/94. He was a wonderful mentor, friend and great man - he will be missed. My heart goes with his family.
Beth Fiorenza
April 5, 2011
Shelley: Penny and I extend our sincerest sympathy to you and the boys. We truly valued his friendship. I'm sure you know that John did more for we veterans in his two years in Congress than others did a lifetime. And making New Jersey smoke-free will save thousands of lives. For that, and all the many other good works he did for ordinary people, we are grateful. May God give you strength to get through these times.
April 5, 2011
Shelley: Penny and I extend our sincerest sympathy to you and the boys. We truly valued his friendship. I'm sure you know that John did more for we veterans in his two years in Congress than others did a lifetime. And making New Jersey smoke-free will save thousands of lives. For that, and all the many other good works he did for ordinary people, we are grateful. May God give you strength to get through these times.
Mike Ferrara
April 5, 2011
John you were a man for the people. You were just too honest to be a politician.
Joe Mogel
April 5, 2011
"John was an amazing, thoughful friend and leader whose sense of humor and intellect will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him . Our deepest sympathy to Shelley and the boys" .
Ed O'Malley
April 5, 2011
Was disappointed after the election and am devested now, R.I.P. John Adler you were a good man and a good Congressman. My sympathy is with your family. Guess another angel was needed so John was called.
A. S.
April 5, 2011
Was disappointed in the election and am devestated now, R.I.P. John Adler You were a good man and a good Congressman. My sympathy goes out to your family. Guess another angel was needed and John was called.
April 5, 2011
John Adler was a great politician and a great man. He cared about people and the community as well as his family. I send my deepest condolences to his wife and sons. Gone but not forgotten. May he rest in peace.
L. Flores, Haddon Twp.
April 5, 2011
Jon Adler reached out and touched the lives of so many citizens in New Jersey. Deepest sympathy to his family at this time.
M Scocchio
April 5, 2011
John, You will truly be missed. You were not just a politician but a friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to Shelley and the boys. God Bless you John. I will miss you.
Judy Gorchow
April 5, 2011
John Adler was more than a politician, he was a leader who cared deeply about the people he represented. As politics have gone, he was a rose among thorns. God Bless
William Suskevich
April 5, 2011
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Ed Kline former N.J. Assemblyman
April 5, 2011
To the ones John loved, I want to send my deepest sympathy. He was a great friend I had the chance to meet when I was an exchange student in HMHS. His short stay in Paris brings back very nice memories to my family and I. I know what a great man he was and what a great job he did. I'll never forget him, and I think of his family with sadness and friendship.
Laurence Faigenbaume
April 5, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Adler Family at this sad time. John was a wonderful man will be greatly missed by many. May his memory be a blessing to you.
The Sutkin Family
April 5, 2011
I knew John since High School. Our mutual friend Drew, was his close friend since Kindergarten, and their families were closer than some peoples relatives. John was in the HMHS drama department with us, and that is where I remember him best.
He would never drive by me on my way to school without offering me a lift, and that type of kindness grew into a career of helping others through representation and leadership. I would only see him on occasion if he was nearby for an event with his constituents, or at the Haddonfield 4th of July parade, but we knew John was representing and looking out for us. To Shelley and his boys, we are deeply saddened by your loss, but know that John's time here was never wasted and we are all the better for knowing him.
Bill Schilling
April 5, 2011
To Shelley and sons,
I was saddened to hear of Johns passing. He was a great leader and friend. We pray that you will be comforted during this your season of sorrow and given strength to make it thorough your tomorrows. We will remember you in our prayers.
Debbie Samuels
April 5, 2011
Our sympathy goes out to the Adler family. We greatly respected Congressman Adler and felt him to be a fair politician. Whenever I had to have my Notary Public renewed, he always signed the paperwork very quickly and had his staff mail it out from his office rather than returning it to me to mail it. He was an extremely admirable man and we will never forget him. Please know our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and sons.
The Shirey's
April 5, 2011
My deepest sympathies to the Adler family. He was an outstanding servant for South Jersey and the Nation. He will be missed.
April 5, 2011
He was a great leader and always willing to help the staff when he served in the Senate...even those of us that belonged to other Senators. He will be deeply missed.
April 5, 2011
When John was elected he personally called us to thank us for helping him and told us if we ever needed him ....he stood up for our daughter's type one diabetes and supported us in more ways than we can count. How may politians can you say that about? We will miss this man so much. A great American and a great friend.
The Greatrex family
April 5, 2011
Dear Shelley and Family:
Our deepest sympathies on John's passing.We remember John from his Harvard Law School days and as Michael's and Sharon's good friend. He was also our State Senator when we lived in N.J. He will be missed by all.

Bernice and Howard Seigel
Holiday, Florida
April 5, 2011
John was a dedicated well liked; father, government service, & Cherry Hill resident. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts go out to Shelly & the boys. My daughter Kristen attended school with Alex (grades 1-12).
Joyce Mullen (Cherry Hill)
April 5, 2011
To the Adler Family, I was sadden upon hearing of the loss of John. May the God of comfort be with you durning this difficult time. He will be missed in New Jersey.
G Willis
April 5, 2011
God Bless your family for the loss of John. He was a peoples' person. John will be sadly missed by all who knew him and how he added a plus for New Jersey.
Andy & Barb Weatherby
April 5, 2011
Our deepest condolences to the Adler family.
Harry & Lucille VanDusen
April 5, 2011
I was so sorry to hear about the death of John Adler. I felt I got to know him through his many e-mails and phone calls from his assistant. He lost the elections which made me very unhappy. He was interested in helping seniors as well as everyone else. He will be missed a lot. My heart goes out to his family. I lost my husband due to heart attack when we were very young and I raised our 4 boys. So I do know what this loss means.
Jane Boughton
April 5, 2011
John was different than the others...he actually cared about the people he served! We have lost a great person.
April 5, 2011
Congressman Adler will be missed by all,i didnot know him but we know he was a good person,to his family i am very sorry for your loss,may he rest in peace.Tom & Karen Grube.
Thomas Grube
April 5, 2011
I remember John well from my years in Haddon Township. He was a caring and committed person who served his constituents well. He was a staunch support of "Freedom of Religion" and the Separation of the Religious Community from the State." Well done John, you were indeed a faithful servant.
Rev. Steven C. Case, First Baptist Church, Mansfield, Pa.
Rev. Steven Case
April 5, 2011
To the Adler family, may God bless your family.
Maureen Phiillips
April 5, 2011
I am so saddened by the lose of Mr. Adler. He was an incredibly caring man and served us wonderfully. I had many conversations with Mr. Adler and his staff, without them my son would not of recieved the life changing surgeries he required over the past year. Mr. Adler went after the insurance company that was denying these surgeries and got it done. I could never thank him enough, from the bottom of my heart what a fantastic man. To the Adler Family, while we all have lost, you have Suffered a lose in which no one can understand unless you've experienced. Husband & father- devastating. I hope it comforts you just a little to know what he meant to us all and our prayers are with you during this difficult time.
To the man who helped my son..
April 5, 2011
To the family, I am very sorry to hear of your loss - My deepest condolences. John was a man with a passion for the people and served us well during his time in public service. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and may John rest in peace.
Ruth Pincus
April 5, 2011
I really didn't know John more than to pass him in synagogue or at the gym but he always said hi and he always had a big smile to share. RIP John and my sympathies to the family. He is someone who made a difference.
Caren Savo
April 5, 2011
To the Adler family.Our hearts go out to your family at this sad time in your lives.May the God of all comfort and peace be with your family.May knowing others care help in the days ahead.Psalms34:18.says God is near to those broken at heart.
April 5, 2011
John will be deeply missed by so many people, as he was truly "about the people." He was a true gentleman and was never too busy to chat in the supermarket, attend the kids' soccer games, or come as a guest to a third grade classroom. John will be remembered for who he was, and for all the lives he touched.
With our deepest sympathy,
The Tagland Family
April 5, 2011
Truly saddened by the passing of John Adler. A true gentleman and statesman. He will be missed by many. He was a visionary man who had a strong passion for the struggling middle class. He understood Americans' challenges and made efforts to recognize the challenges of the American family. He was there to offer legislation to correct these inequities. A man of action. I know of no other representative in NJ or for NJ who can come close to what he offered in his short time. So sorry to all for OUR LOSS. Will be missed.
Jeanine Feaman
April 5, 2011
tammi C
April 5, 2011
To the the family of John Adler - May God give you peace and comfort through his word and the Lord Jesus Christ during this time of sorrow, I know that John will be missed by many.
R Golay
April 5, 2011
John was one of the smartest and funniest people I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friend. He was a gift to our community and treasured by all who knew him. My heart aches for his family. It's hard for us not to cry but I think that John would want us to remember the laughter of good times and to celebrate his life.
Lloyd Birnbaum
April 5, 2011
I used to watch John and his wife in the 4th of July parade in Haddonfield. At the end of the parade he never failed to leave his car and come up to us sitting on a nearby porch. It's still a mystery to me how he could have been defeated in the last election.
John DeAngelo
April 4, 2011
John was an energetic servant of the people he served, a dedicated Father to his sons and a loving husband. His passion for his service to those he served was an inspiration to us all. He had a great effect on many including my son who respected John's humor, intellect and dedication. John will be missed by all of us who knew him.
Stan Steele
April 4, 2011
John was exactly what he seemed to be- a caring friend, dedicated to improving the lot of others. I was privileged to have known him since our teens. I will miss him.
My sincerest condolences to Shelly and the boys.
Mike DeSimone
April 4, 2011
To the Family. I can't tell you how sorry I am for the sudden passing of a loving father, and wonderful husband. My heart breaks for your loss. Take care of each other at this difficult time.
Lynne Levin Cherry Hill
April 4, 2011
David J Bhaltazhar Esq
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