Joseph Simunovich

joseph simunovich

April 25, 1939 ~ June 18, 2019

Simunovich, Joseph, age 80, of Hackensack, on Tuesday June 18, 2019. Born in West New York, he received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University Graduate School earning a master’s degree in Business Management.

Beloved husband of Palma “Pam” (nee:Pizzuto). Devoted father of Tracy Martinez and her husband Stephen and the late Joseph P. Simunovich. Cherished grandfather of Stephen J., Christopher, Andrew and Kevin.

Joe was a towering figure in New Jersey business, government, health care and politics for more than four decades. Simply put, Joe was a giant.

Joe was the founding Chair of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University Board of Governors, a position he cherished and eagerly served until his passing. Joe was also former Co-Chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees. Joe began his service at the Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Governors in 1991 and held a variety of roles including: Chair of the Hackensack University Health Network Board of Trustees, the HackensackUMC Board of Governors, the HackensackUMC Foundation's Board of Trustees and the HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley Joint Venture Board.

Joe served on the Board of Directors for SUEZ North America and also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for SUEZ New Jersey and New York. He previously served as President and Chief of Staff for SUEZ North America. Prior to joining Suez he was as an executive with Bell Atlantic New Jersey and New York Telephone (now Verizon).

Active in governmental and civic associations, Mr. Simunovich has served in leadership positions for nine New Jersey Governors.

In 1986 he was appointed to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) where he served as Vice Chairman. He served for six consecutive terms, the longest tenure in EDA history.

In 2002 he was selected as Chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. During his leadership, he guided the historic consolidation of the Garden State Parkway with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, providing significant savings. He also oversaw removal of the toll booths on the Parkway to speed traffic flow, and the implementation of E-Z Pass.

He served Hudson County as a Freeholder for 12 years, and was Director and Chairman of the Board for three years. He was Chairman of the Bergen County Economic Development Corporation from 1997 to 2002 and a member of the Board of Directors for New Brunswick Development Corporation, the National Association of Water Companies and the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships. He previously served on the Leadership Committee of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board from 1996 to 1999. He served as a trustee and officer of the board of New Jersey City University, and has guest lectured at Rutgers University School of Business.

Mr. Simunovich has been honored for his service commitment by the United Hospital Fund of New York with its Distinguished Trustee Award, the New Jersey Hospital Association with its Trustee of the Year Award, and NJBIZ Magazine with its Icon of the Year Award.

The family will receive their friends and family on Sunday 1 – 8 pm at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street “opposite the Fort Lee Library”. The funeral will leave Monday at 9:15 AM for the celebration of his funeral mass in Holy Trinity R.C. Church (Hackensack) at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The HackensackUMC Foundation. For condolences, directions, or information or call (201) 944-0100


Mass: June 24, 2019 10:00 am

Holy Trinity Church
34 Maple Avenue
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Visitation at Funeral Home: June 23, 2019 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Final Resting Place:

Garden of Memories
Soldier Hill Raod
Washington Twp., NJ 07675

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  1. Dear Pam,
    My sincere sympathy to you and your family. Joe was a remarkable man and I am pleased to have gotten to know you both thru mutual friends. His life left many "foot-prints" upon this earth which will continue to enrich numerous lives well into the future.May you find peace in that knowledge. Regards, Margaret

  2. So sorry for your loss! Joseph’s legacy had left a number of big accomplishments! We’ll never forget how accomplished and companionable he was to everybody! Although the Hackensack Medical Plaza Palm Court is still in his honor and always will be! We’ll never forget you Joseph and glad that you’re in a better place now! Rest in peace!

  3. Dear Aunt Pam, Tracy and the boys,

    I am so sorry I wasn't able to fly up but I want you all to know how sorry I am. Uncle Joe was truly a remarkable man and I am proud to have him as my Godfather. May you all find peace in knowing he is with Joseph, Big T, Uncle Marty and Grandma and Grandpa, together again in heaven. Love you so very much. Mary Jo

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