WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today released the following statement on the passing of Joseph Simunovich:

“Joe Simunovich was a dear friend, a tremendous human being and an incredible public servant. I first met Joe when he was a Hudson County freeholder, and remember fondly taking him door to door in a Cuban neighborhood that had recently been added to his district, introducing him to the community and explaining to folks that he was a good and decent guy.

“Joe was incredibly generous and often quietly helped people in need without ever seeking the limelight or recognition. He was slow to anger, warm and humble, and, despite being a tenacious advocate for the issues he believed in, Joe was widely respected and often called upon to work as an intermediary and bring people together. He had a long and distinguished professional career that included serving as president of Suez Water Resources and, most recently, co-chair of Hackensack Meridian, the state’s largest health network, where he helped launch New Jersey’s newest medical school in partnership with Seton Hall University. Throughout his life, including holding several positions in public and elected office, Joe was determined to improve the lives of his fellow New Jerseyans.

“Not only did Joe serve as my finance chair on each of my Senate campaigns and often provide me with sage advice and counsel throughout my career, I was most proud to call him a dear, dear friend. Joe will be deeply missed by all who knew him, but we take solace in the fond memories and profound legacy he’s left behind. My heart goes out to his wife Pam, his daughter Tracy and her husband Steve, grandchildren Steven, Christopher, Andrew and Kevin, and the entire Simunovich family.”