ROSELLE, NJ - The Borough of Roselle suffered the loss of another community leader. Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich died Sunday night at Trinitas Regional Hospital in Elizabeth, according to county officials. Froehlich had been sick for most of this year and recently had been battling cancer.
Froehlich was one of the longest serving sheriffs in the states history. First elected in 1977 and was sworn in for his 13th term this past January. He also served as a police officer for about 20 years. Froehlich was 83.
Mayor Jamel C. Holley was very close to Froehlich and has known him since he was a child in the late 1980s. He released this statement today.
“The sheriff learned that my family was poor, and he did everything he could to help us out,” Holley said. “Ralph would provide us with food baskets and gifts during the holidays, and I remember him attending my brother’s basketball and football games. He was more than a community sheriff to us.”
When Holley entered local politics, he immediately received support from Froehlich, who endorsed his candidacy for Borough Council and ultimately, mayor. The sheriff even campaigned with Holley door-to-door, providing extra support where he could.
As mayor, Holley could always count on Froehlich. In February 2013, Holley coordinated a press conference in Cranford for elected officials to support Mayors Against Illegal Guns, calling on Gov. Chris Christie to strengthen state gun laws. Froehlich stood right up from, standing next to Holley like he had done for 30 years
Union County law enforcement officers held a dinner on July 9 honoring Froehlich for his 55th anniversary in law enforcement and received a proclamation by Mayor Holley. Froehlich was unable to attend the dinner because of his illness.
Flags in Union County will be flown at half-staff.