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Joseph G. Oliver, Sr., 90

June 7, 1932 - March 11, 2023

First Chief of Police in Montgomery Township


Joseph G. Oliver, Sr., a loving and devoted husband, father, uncle, and friend peacefully entered heaven’s gates on March 11. He was 90. Born in Skillman on June 7,1932, he built his forever home on Burnt Hill Road.

Joe, best known to many as “Duke,” went to Princeton High School and later served in the New Jersey National Guard (50th Armored Division) in the 1950s. He then began his long-term career in law enforcement, in which he proudly served. He worked full-time with the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) police in addition to working part-time as chief of police in Montgomery Township.


He retired as a as sergeant from the DHS in 1989, after 39 years of service. He also served as a member of PBA #113 and New Jersey Law Enforcement Supervisors Association (NJLESA). He was also a long-time member of the Princeton NJ Elks Lodge #2129 for 50 plus years.


“Duke” loved watching his Yankees win and enjoyed his trips with family members to New York City to watch his Bronx Bombers at the stadium. Joe and Joyce loved their summer vacations for many years in the Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina with family and friends. He enjoyed surf fishing at the Jersey Shore and at OBX. After retiring he looked forward to Atlantic City bus trips. He loved spending time at Joe and Deb’s home, especially summer picnics and celebrating holidays with loved ones. Dining out for breakfast was a daily must and enjoyed conversations with all his diner buddies. He was the master chef in the kitchen (known for saying “garlic rules”). Lastly, he was the ultimate handy-man with mechanics and carpentry, always willing to lend a helping hand to all.


He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years Joyce Oliver (his lifelong sweetheart) and his son Joseph, Jr. (Deborah). He is predeceased by his parents, Gasper and Mary Oliver; sisters, Anne Soriero (Tony), Jenny Ficcara (Michael), Margaret Mandraccia (Michael), and Grace Cocciolillo (Raymond), brother Samuel Oliver (Mary) and sister-in-law, Ellen Warren.


In addition, he is survived by his brother-in-law, Jon Christiansen (Renee), Charlie (Marilyn), Pat (Geri), Michael Cocciolillo (Michelle), Michael Mandaccia (Celeste), Gaye (Ed), Emily (Bill) and many nephews and nieces. Lastly, their longtime friend Chris Dwyer.


Joe “Duke” Oliver it is time to “saddle up” to your now forever home in Heaven.


Burial will be at Highland Cemetery Hopewell.

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