Former Monmouth County state senator Joe Palaia has passed away at the age of 89.

"I am saddened by the loss of Joe Palaia," Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. said in a statement "He was one of the kindest and most decent legislators to ever serve in Trenton."

Palaia was a teacher and principal at Ocean Township's Wanamassa Elementary School, was on the township council and then elected mayor before serving on the board of chosen freeholders, and served as a state senator from 1989-2008, according to Patch.

There will be a wake  for Palaia on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m at Francioni, Taylor and Lopez Funeral Home in Neptune.


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