Daniel J. O’Hern
By JOHN T. WARD
Daniel J. O’Hern, a son of Red Bank who was its mayor through a period of social unrest and later served almost two decades on the New Jersey Supreme Court, died Wednesday night at his home in Little Silver.
The Star-Ledger reports that he died of metastatic brain melanoma.
“Dan O’Hern was the quintessential gentleman who represented Red Bank so well in so many aspects,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna, who said he was inspired by O’Hern’s example to pursue public service.
Noting the racial strife of the late 1960s, when O’Hern was a borough councilman and, starting in 1969, as mayor, Menna said O’Hern “led the borough at an exceedingly difficult time, when there was great social friction.”
When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 and many towns and cities braced for the kind of violence that had erupted in Newark and elsewhere, O’Hern marched down Shrewsbury Avenue with local ministers and citizens in a peaceful memorial, Menna said.
Through sit-ins and noisy council meetings, “it was always a mark of his sensitivity that he was able to keep the tensions so that they did not rise to a level of civil strife,” Menna said.