Caldwell's Grover Cleveland Middle School principal James Brown died of coronavirus. He was 48 years old.
Brown lived in Colonia with his wife, Sherry, and three children.
Gov. Phil Murphy singled out Brown's death during his Friday coronavirus briefing, announcing a total of 29,895 cases statewide.
"God bless him,'' the governor said. "The accolades being posted in his memory by the members his community show just how deeply respected and loved he was."
The governor also cited the loss of New Jersey jazz great Bucky Pizzarelli, a native of Paterson, bringing the state's total deaths from COVID-19 to 646.
"The family wants to share this because it’s so important," Sherry Brown told Bridgewater Courier (USA Today Network).
"This man had no underlying conditions. He was the picture of health and this illustrates just how devastating this virus really can be. He was the love of my life. He will be missed dearly.”
West Caldwell police announced Brown's death, remembering him as a "natural leader" on Facebook.
"From the first day you were introduced as a young Vice-Principal at James Caldwell High School, we could instantly tell that there was something special about you," the post said.
"You were a natural leader of people. When you would speak on a subject matter there was something about the manner that you spoke where the room sat up and listened.
"Our schools are the safest around as a direct result of your hard-work and advocating to keep school safety as the district’s top priority," the post said.
"Our department’s school safety team will always remember how passionate you were when talking about all of the benefits of the LobbyGuard system that you were able to pilot in your school."
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