Hackensack University Health Network is mourning the loss of Justice Marie L. Garibaldi of Weehawken, NJ, who died on January 15, 2016.
Justice Garibaldi was part of the Hackensack University Health Network family since 2001 and served with great distinction as a member of all three of its Boards: the Hackensack University Health Network, HackensackUMC and the HackensackUMC Foundation. She served in many leadership positions on these boards, including first vice chair of the HackensackUMC Board of Governors. She was a pioneer and trailblazer in the legal community, serving as the first female justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
“Justice Garibaldi’s devotion and passion to our medical center was unquestionable and she exuded unending energy, intellectual rigor and dignity in everything she did,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of the Hackensack University Health Network. “Her legacy will be long remembered with our greatest affection and admiration. Her friendship meant a great deal to all of us and she will be sorely missed.”
Justice Garibaldi was born November 26, 1934, in Jersey City, NJ, to Dr. Louis and Marie S. Garibaldi. As an only child, she lived most of her life in Hudson County. The Garibaldis raised their daughter with a strong belief in equal opportunity for women and encouraged her to pursue a nontraditional career path. She was a pioneer and role model to so many. She is survived by loving cousins, adoring godchildren and many cherished friends and colleagues.
As a child, Justice Garibaldi attended Stevens Hoboken Academy through 12th grade. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in economics and a political science minor from Connecticut College (New London, CT) in 1956.
With an intent to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and attend business school, Justice Garibaldi learned first-hand women weren’t accepted. Instead, she enrolled in Columbia Law School as a pathway into the business world and graduated in 1959.
In 1963, Justice Garibaldi earned her Master of Laws degree in tax law from New York University School of Law. She was a member of the New Jersey, New York, and District of Columbia Bars and the first woman to serve as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Justice Garibaldi began her legal career with the New York Regional Counsel in the Internal Revenue Service. She received extensive trial experience in Tax Court.
The Hatch Act restricted government employees from political speech-making and article-writing which ultimately caused Justice Garibaldi to make her next career move. She briefly worked at a firm now known as Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti (Riker, Danzig) – within three years she was made a partner which was virtually unheard of at that time.
While at Riker, Danzig, Justice Garibaldi also served as a municipal court judge in Weehawken, NJ, from 1973 to 1975 writing the majority of opinion in several cases affecting women.
Justice Garibaldi was introduced to Republican Thomas H. Kean by a Riker, Danzig partner. This ultimately led Justice Garibaldi to serve as co-chair of his gubernatorial campaign. Once elected, Governor Thomas H. Kean nominated Justice Garibaldi to the New Jersey Supreme Court. In 1982, Justice Garibaldi became the first woman appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court – she served as Associate Justice of New Jersey’s highest court until she retired in 2000.
She authored more than 225 opinions while on the Supreme Court and was known for her advocacy of complementary dispute resolution. She chaired the Supreme Court’s committee on that subject, and in 1998, the American Inns of Court Foundation established the Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Justice Garibaldi was the recipient of many awards, including the Medal of Excellence from the Columbia University School of Law. She received honorary degrees from St. John’s University Law School, Seton Hall University Law School, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Drew University, Upsala College, St. Peter’s College, Caldwell College, and the College of Saint Elizabeth.
Justice Garibaldi joined the Hackensack University Health Network in 2001 and served as vice chair of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Board of Governors. She also served on the Hackensack University Health Network’s Board of Trustees, as chair of the Executive Compensation Committee, and on the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
She chaired the Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Italian American Foundation. Justice Garibaldi also served as a director of Crown Holdings, Inc. from 2000 to 2007. She also served as a member of the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates.
In addition, Justice Garibaldi served as the secretary of the American Association Order of Malta USA and executive vice president of the American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit. She also served as a director of the State Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Bell Telephone Co., and the Washington Savings Bank. She also was a trustee of St. Peter’s College.
Justice Garibaldi truly enjoyed traveling, reading mysteries, and dinner and dancing with friends. She was predeceased by her parents – her father, Dr. Louis Garibaldi passed away in 1975 and her mother, Marie S. Garibaldi passed away in 2013 at the age of 103.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, Hackensack, NJ; St. Augustine’s School, Union City, NJ; Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Weehawken, NJ.
About Hackensack University Health Network
Hackensack University Health Network is the New Jersey-based parent company of HackensackUMC, the HackensackUMC Foundation, Hackensack University Medical Group, and corporate joint venture partners with LHP Hospital Group in ownership of two hospitals: HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley and HackensackUMC Mountainside. In April 2015, HackensackUHN welcomed Palisades Medical Center as a full member of the Network, marked by the execution of a definitive agreement. HackensackUHN also welcomed Englewood Hospital and Medical Center as an affiliate hospital.In May 2015, HackensackUHN signed a definitive agreement to merge with Meridian Health; creating one, integrated healthcare delivery system, known as Hackensack Meridian Health. In June 2015, HackensackUHN and Seton Hall University announced a definitive agreement to form a new, four-year school of medicine – the only private medical school in New Jersey. HackensackUHN also enjoys clinical and academic affiliations with some of the nation’s most well-renowned health systems, hospitals and universities, including: Aetna, AllSpire Health Partners, CityMD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey; MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MinuteClinic, NYU Langone Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Surgery, OMNIA Health Alliance; Rutgers Medical School, St. George’s University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Summit Medical Group, The Statesir Cancer Center at CentraState, and United Surgical Partners International. With more than 10,800 employees, 3,300 credentialed medical staff members and 1,717 hospital and nursing home beds at hospitals within the Network, Hackensack University Health Network is one of the largest healthcare systems in New Jersey.