Wesley Lance dies

Former Senate President Wesley Lance, the father of Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance, died on Saturday. He was 99.

The Hunterdon County Republican was elected to the State Assembly in 1937 and to the Senate in 1941. He resigned from the Senate in 1943 to go on active duty in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and returned to the Senate in 1953. Lance, who did not run for re-election in 1962, may be the last surviving delegate to New Jersey's 1947 Constitutional Convention.

Wesley Lance was a legislative titan who transcended party affiliation and parochial interests to make a lasting positive imprint upon this state and generations of its citizens," said Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts. “All of New Jersey owes a debt of gratitude to Wesley Lance and the role he played in helping to forge New Jersey’s acclaimed modern-day constitution over a half century ago."

"His dedication to public service, his affinity for the law, and his ability to see issues from a global perspective put him in a very select class of legislators who will be immortalized as leading statesmen," Roberts said.

“Wesley Lance was an exceptional man both in his public and private lives. He was driven by a sense of fairness and duty that always transcended party lines and focused on moving all of New Jersey forward," said Senate President Richard Codey.“New Jersey owes a debt of gratitude to Senator Lance, not only for his work as an architect of the current State Constitution, but also for his willingness to leave the [Legislature] at the age of 35 to enlist in the Navy and serve during World War II. He was a class act and will truly be missed."

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 29 from 3 PM to 8 PM at the Martin Funeral Home in Clinton. A funeral service will be held at 10 AM on Thursday, August 30 at the Spruce Run Lutheran Church in Glen Gardner. The Lance family asks that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation in memory of Senator Lance.

Wesley Lance dies