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Hundreds pay their last respects at Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver’s funeral in Trenton

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – Hundreds of people gathered in Trenton to pay their final respects Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver of New Jersey.

Oliver was the first Black Lt. Gov. in the history of the Garden State.

With her coffin draped in an American flag, New Jersey State Troopers ushered Lieutenant Governor Oliver’s body into the State House Rotunda, where Governor Phil Murphy and members of Oliver’s family held a private visiting service before the public paid their last respects .

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City Councilman Reginald Atkins offered a prayer and called Oliver a wonderful woman.


CBS NewsPhiladelphia.

“And we pray to God for this family who suffered such a tremendous loss as we bared our hearts to theirs,” Atkins said.

Hundreds of people lined up outside the State House to honor Oliver’s life, including Racha Barlow, who met the Lieutenant Governor while working at Trenton City Hall.

“Because she was one of the first black women to hold that position, she inspired me to want to do so much more when I got into my position, and I just wanted to come and say thank you and just be a comfort to the family as I could be,” said Barlow.

Leaders from across the state drove to comfort the family, including Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen and a handful of Camden County police officers.

“She was always full of wisdom in the time I was with her. She just gave you good food for thought about leadership and local government, so we will miss her,” said Carstarphen.

RELATED: NJ State Officials Share Heartfelt Tributes in Memory of Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver

The president and CEO of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, Leslie Anderson, worked extensively with Oliver and says her shattering of glass ceilings for black women will make her an inspiration forever.

“And as a black woman serving in state government, she opened many doors for me and created opportunities for me, but more importantly, she spoke for me in rooms I wasn’t even in,” Anderson said.

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