HILLSDALE, N.J. — Retired Bergen County Superior Court judge and former New Jersey State Assemblyman Patrick James Roma died on Nov. 26 following a massive stroke . He was 68.
Born in New York City, Roma was raised in Cliffside Park, and lived in Palisades Park and Hillsdale. He died in Naples, Fla.
Well respected in legal circles and the local community, Roma began his career as an attorney and partner at Friedman, Pearlman & Roma.
He served as prosecutor for the boroughs of Palisades Park, Fairview, Little Ferry, Saddle Brook, Haworth and Leonia.
He was elected council president and police commissioner in Palisades Park, and was elected as New Jersey's District 38 General Assemblyman from 1988 to 1997. Roma served as assistant minority whip and assistant minority leader.
He was awarded Legislator of the Year by Local 518, the Motor Vehicle Employees Union in 1993; and by Shelter Our Sisters and the Italian American Police Society in 1994; Man of the Year by the Parole Officers Association in 1991, and again by the New Jersey AFL-CIO in 1995.
Roma was appointed to the Superior Court of New Jersey in 1997 and reappointed with tenure in 2003. He served on the bench in the Criminal Division of the Bergen Vicinage until his retirement in 2014.
He was an avid fisherman, sportsman and supporter of the 2nd amendment. He went fishing in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and the Florida Keys. He was always up for a fishing trip, keeping his fishing gear in the SUV just in case he passed a good fishing hole.
Roma was a member of The Naples Fishing Club, The Guys Group, The Porsche Club, and The Italian American Society. His fondness for travel took him and wife Patrice on wonderful trips abroad and exploring throughout the U.S.
He is preceded in death by his previous wife, Mary Ann Roma (nee Caporale); his brother Anthony Scozzafava; his brothers-in-law Bob Van Nosdall and Bob Sylvester.
He is survived by his wife Patrice Malleus Roma (nee Garnich); step-daughter Lisa Malleus (Harold Boxill); sister Marie Van Nosdall, sister-in-law Claire Scozzafava; sister-in-law Carol Sylvester; sister-in-law Marie Mennonna (Ken); brother-in-law Peter Garnich (Stephanie); brother-in-law Gregory Garnich; mother-in-law Madeleine Garnich; and a devoted extended family of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, godchildren, cousins and friends.
Memorial visitation will be held on Monday, Dec.11, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Volk Leber Funeral Home in Oradell.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, 11 a.m., at St. Peter the Apostle RC Church in River Edge followed by private cremation.
Private cremation. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St Jude’s Research Foundation, 501 St Jude Place.
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