July 28, 2014 at 2:58 PM
ELIZABETH, NJ - While flags in Union County were flying at half-staff, the people of Union County said goodbye on Sunday at the Union County Court House to Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, who died a week ago at Trinitas Regional Hospital in Elizabeth.
Froehlich was one of the longest-serving sheriffs in the state's history. He was 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.
Roselle Mayor Jamel C. Holley was very close to Froehlich and has known him since he was a child in the late 1980s. Holley released this statement:
“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.”
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 Holley. Froehlich was unable to attend the dinner because of his illness.
The final goodbye was on Monday at a Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Elizabeth followed by a procession to his final resting place. Government officials from across state attended the service and the procession included police officers from towns all over the area, including New Providence, North Bergen, Clark, Roselle Park and Rahway.