To the Family of Vivian M. Gaunt
God bless the soul of Vivian M. Gaunt and may He grant her family peace and comfort as they mourn the loss of her earthly presence.
I am Orange Mayor Dwayne D. Warren, Esq. and on behalf of the Orange Municipal Council and all of the residents of the City, I offer condolences on the loss of this worthy servant of God, family and the people.
I met Ms. Gaunt in 1976 as a 5th grader at Blessed Sacrament School in Newark. I found her to be much more than a teacher. Unbeknownst to us, she was preparing us for life. She taught strict discipline, critical thinking, self-assessment, and self-esteem. She made us feel that we needed to learn these things because the world was depending on us to be responsible caretakers of our people and our communities. She abhorred foolishness not just because it was bad, but because we did not have time for it in our pursuit of excellence. Looking back 45 years, I realize her stern lessons were heaven-sent. She was just being used to deliver the Lord's message that Jeremiah delivered in Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. As a lowly fifth grader, I never imagined how much her example would help shape my life.
As a civic leader, Ms. Gaunt blazed trails. As an early member of the small sorority of women in politics at the time, she distinguished herself as a trusted adviser to Mayors, county leaders and state officials. She spoke with reason and authority, she advocated for her people and she questioned those in charge. Her qualities inspired women and men to keep their talents local and serve where they are. Communities of color are better off because of her example. On February 10, 2021, Orange lost the bones and body of a dedicated leader, but her spirit will forever dwell in the fabric of the City of Orange Township.
In loving and grateful memory of former Councilwoman Vivian M. Gaunt, I will join with the Orange Municipal Council to issue a proclamation declaring February 10, 2021, as Councilwoman Vivian M. Gaunt Memorial Day throughout the City of Orange Township. The Proclamation will be presented to the family and will be a permanent part of the archives of the City of Orange Township.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Mayor Dwayne D. Warren, Esq.