WESTFIELD, NJ — A late New Jersey industrialist and his wife, who both lived to 100, were this weekend recognized for their quiet community contributions.

State and local officials — who also happen to be neighbors — dedicated a park at the entrance to Watchung Fork on Saturday. It had been named after the late Patricia and Grover Connell, president of the Connell Co., a manufacturer of rice and sugar, the neighbors announced.

Patricia Connell died in October 2017. Grover Connell died in May 2018. The Connell Co. is also the developer of the Connell Corporate Park in Berkeley Heights, the company's website states. It is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States, the company says.

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At the brief ribbon cutting on Saturday, several dozen neighbors of the Connells who were instrumental in establishing the park were joined by family members, dignitaries including Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, council members representing the ward and the town’s administrator, Jim Gildea, the release said.

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In September, Mayor Shelley Brindle and the Town Council named the small island after the Connells. 

The park dedication comes after the Connells’ nearly 70 years of residence, service, quiet generosity and charitable contributions to their community, said Tola Murphy-Baran, one of the neighbors.

“They exemplified what it means to be a truly good neighbor,” Murphy-Baran said.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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