Joseph M Nardi Jr. served as the city's mayor from 1969 to 1973. A native of Camden, he graduated from the Rutgers University School of Law in 1956 and was engaged as a leader in community and professional organizations from then on. He served on the Board of Trustees at both St. Joseph's Preparatory School and Saint Joseph's University. From 1986 to 1988, he was the president of Saint Joseph's University's Alumni Association. He was involved with The Salvation Army, the Camden County Girl Scout Council, and the Knights of Columbus, among others. Professionally, Judge Nardi also participated on a wide variety of judicial committees, including the Children in Court (Ad Hoc) Committee, the Youth Services Commission of Camden County, the Family Violence Committee, and several others.
Judge Nardi was a judge in many capacities throughout his career. In the late 1960s, he was a judge in the Municipal Court of the City of Camden. Following a brief stint as the Municipal Court Judge in Voorhees Township, he became the Presiding Judge of the Family Part in Camden County.
Always concerned with children Judge Nardi, Jr. was quoted as saying, "The only thing that is going to change it (juvenile crime rates) is a real family. It's over simplistic, but it's true. I have 17 year olds who can t read, who haven t been to school in two years. How do you patch that up? It starts with family." During the first surrogate mother case, popularly known as the "Baby M" case, he co-filed an amicus curiaew (friend of the court brief) on behalf of the The National Committee for Adoption, Inc.
Judge Nardi retired from active service as the Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Court of Camden County after 13 years and as of 2002 was the Recall Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey of Burlington County.
Both Rutgers University and the Rutgers University School of Law recognized Joseph Nardi with their Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1994, he received the Bishop's Medal from the Bishop of the Diocese of Camden. Pope John Paul II declared him a Knight of St. Gregory, and the Camden Board of Education gave him its Distinguished Achievement Award.
Joseph M. Nardi passed away ay his home in Audubon NJ on November 23, 2003.
Camden County Record - July 10, 1969
Mayor Joseph M. Nardi Jr.
With more than 500 persons in attendance, former municipal court judge Joseph M. Nardi, Jr., 38, at 12 noon on July 1, was sworn in as mayor .of Camden City for a 4-year term.
In a short talk Mayor Nardi promised to do all, possible to bring the city back to its proper place and felt certain it could be accomplished.
All council members were present and pledged their support to the new administration. Elijah Perry who was elected with Nardi was selected as councll president. Other new councilmen were John J. Lack, an attorney and Daniel Ciechanowski, a funeral director who is vice-president of the school board.
John Perry replaces Mrs. Elizabeth Hawk, who held the president's chair for three one-year terms. Perry is a former councilman, served on the Planning Board and Civil Rights Commission and was city treasurer prior to running again for office.
Appointments included, Angelo Errichetti, Department of Public Works; Chief of Police Harold Melleby, Department of Public Safety; William T. Harker, Engineering and Building Inspections; J. Allen Nimmo, City Properties and Recreation; Isaiah Steinberg, city attorney; Joseph
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Camden County Record - July 10, 1969
Funeral Rites Held For Cops Killed By Gunman
Funeral services for two rookie Camden policemen gunned down in a senseless killing early last Saturday morning, July 5, were held for one Wednesday and the other will be held today.
The double tragedy occurred when the two policemen were felled by shotgun blasts shortly after midnight as they responded to the first trouble call of their 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. tour of duty.
In response to a call at 12:26 a.m. over the police radio hookup that a man with a gun was at the intersection, Sutman and his partner Patrolman Michael Zimmerman arrived at the scene first. As Sutman stepped out of the car he was hit in the chest by a blast from a shotgun. In response to a radio call for help from Zimmerman the next victim Schultz and Patrolman Al Rudderow arrived on the scene. The gunman fired again and 12 pellets struck Schultz in the head, neck and shoulders.
The shotgun was fired two more times as other police arrived to return the fire at least six times.
During a lull, police conferred with the stepfather of James L. Smith, 21, who has been charged with the murders, and it was agreed the stepfather and two policemen were to go upstairs and talk to the assassin, which they did and within a few minutes the young man surrendered to the police. Arraigned, before Municipal Judge William Rosenblatt, on Saturday Smith was ordered held without bail for a further hearing on July 15.
Mayor Joseph M. Nardi has ordered flags on all municipal buildings flown at half-staff for 30 days in mourning for the slain policemen. Also, all Camden policemen except a few necessary to patrol the city attended the funerals of both men. Fellow officers also acted as pallbearers.
Police delegations from allover the country attended the funerals and Commissioner Rizzo from Philadelphia sent a detachment of pollee to direct traffic.
A Requiem High Mass was held for Schultz on Wednesday, 10 a.m., at St. Cecilia's Church,4801 Camden Avenue, Pennsauken, followed by interment at Lakeview Memorial Park. For Sutman a Requiem High Mass was held at St. Joseph's Church, 2907 Federal Street, at 10 a.m. today, followed by burial in the New St. Mary's Cemetery, Bellmawr.
Mr. Schultz is survived by his wife, Rosemary; a daughter, Stephanie; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Schultz; and 3 sisters, Mrs. Violet Collum, Mrs. Hope Sarmatto and Mrs. Elsie Haines.
Mr. Sutman is survived by his wife, Colleen; one son, William; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Sutman; his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Edna Sutman; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Helen Flemming.
I recently had an opportunity to visit the birthplace and home of our Lord, Jesus Christ. At the time of my visit to Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem I had an opportunity to offer my prayers for the people of our city, country and for the people of the world with the particular petition for peace among people.
On behalf of my family and my staff, I extend to all of you a very blessed Holiday Season with the thought that all of our efforts during the coming year will make the City of Camden a better place in which to live.
December 31, 1970
Camden Courier-Post - November 25, 2003
Judge Joseph M. Nardi Jr. Dead at 71J
Retired state Superior Court Judge Joseph M. Nardi Jr., a shoemaker's son who became an attorney, a mayor and a member of the state judiciary, is dead.
Nardi - the mayor of Camden from 1969 to 1973 and a family court judge in Camden County from 1989 until his retirement last year - died Sunday at his Audubon home. He was 71.
Although he had undergone open-heart surgery in 2001 and had more recently been treated for prostate cancer, Nardi "never lost his zest for life," according to his former law partner and longtime friend, Appellate Judge Frank Lario Jr.
Nardi continued working part time as a family court judge, had attended a basketball game of his beloved St. Joseph's University Hawks earlier this month, and at a dinner party on Friday, he had served guests some of his signature homemade wine.
"For someone who had accomplished so much, he was a modest man," said his son, Joseph Nardi III of Haddon Township. "He always wanted to be remembered that way."
Nardi was born in Camden to Giuseppe and Rose (Bufanio) Nardi, who had immigrated to the United States from Calabria. The family lived above Giuseppe's shoe repair shop at 935 Market St., where there usually was opera playing on the radio.
One of the couple's three sons, Frank, would later become an opera singer. But Joseph Jr., who once said his only ambition in life was to become a lawyer, took a different path.
He began his education at the old St. Mary's School in Camden, and it was there, in first grade, where he met Joseph Rodriguez. On Monday, Rodriguez, now a U.S. District Court judge, fought to keep his composure as he spoke about the death of his friend of more than six decades.
"It's like losing a brother," Rodriguez said. "He had great integrity. I admired him."
After graduating from Camden Catholic High School in 1949, Nardi entered what is now St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. It was the beginning of a love affair with what he always referred to as "The College," an affair that continued until the end of his life.
"He was just a wonderful man," said Joseph Lunardi, a school spokesman. He noted that last year, the university's alumni association presented Nardi with its Shield of Loyola Award, praising him as someone who embodied the Jesuit ideal of being "a man for others."
Nardi graduated from St. Joe's in 1953 and earned a law degree from Rutgers University in 1956. He and his wife, the former Rita Geoghegan, began raising their family in Camden, where Nardi served as city attorney, assistant county prosecutor and municipal court judge before being elected mayor in 1969.
By this point, Camden had been hemorrhaging jobs and residents for a quarter century. Urban renewal, highway construction and racial tensions had the city on edge, and within days of Nardi's inauguration, riots broke out around Seventh and Newton streets.
But those disturbances were nothing compared to what happened after a Puerto Rican motorist was beaten by city police and died in August 1971.
Sections of downtown were looted and torched, and Nardi found himself assailed from all sides. Minorities were angry because the police officers involved in the initial incident were not immediately suspended; some in law enforcement were critical of the suspensions; and the business community was fuming.
"I ain't loved by nobody," Nardi told a Courier-Post reporter in the aftermath of the riot. And in an interview with the newspaper earlier this year, Nardi said, "It was a difficult time . . . it was a time of unrest . . . We had an exodus from the city, a middle-income exodus, and it was hurting us."
Nardi "did the best he could in a difficult situation," said former city council attorney John Lack, a friend of Nardi's for 40 years.
"Throughout it all, he stood tall," said Dennis Kille, who is counsel to current Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison.
Faison's spokesman, the Rev. Tony Evans, said the mayor ordered flags at City Hall flown at half-staff this week.
"Like so many in the city, the mayor admired Judge Nardi," Evans said, adding that Faison has proclaimed Friday as a "Day of Remembrance" in Nardi's honor.
Said city clerk John Odorisio, "You couldn't find a more honorable, decent and genuine person than Joe Nardi."
"He was an extraordinary leader," said Monsignor Thomas J. Morgan, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Camden.
Nardi did not seek a second term, and left office in 1973. He resumed his private law practice in Camden and later in Haddonfield, and eventually moved his family to Voorhees.
Nardi was appointed to the state bench in 1989, serving in family court, including a stint as presiding judge. Friends said the work appealed to Nardi's humanitarian side. "It was a labor of love," Lack said.
Nardi also loved family, friends, good food and fine wine. After his father died in 1987, he began to make wine, using the press that Giuseppe had inherited from his father. The tradition evolved to include a grape-stomping party held each year at the Nardi home.
At festive events such as that - and there were many, according to family and friends - "he was in his element," Rodriguez said.
In addition to Rita, his wife of 48 years, and his eldest son Joseph III, Nardi is survived by his daughters Rita Nardi, Rosanna Innes and Julia Rineman; sons John, Raymond, and Robert; 10 grandchildren; a brother, Frank; a sister, Marie Francesconi; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to the viewing from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Broadway and Market Street, Camden, where a funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Joseph and Rita Nardi Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Joseph's University, Office of Development, 5600 City Line Ave., Philadelphia 19131; or to South Jersey Scholarship Fund, c/o Diocesan Center, 631 Market St., Camden 08102.
Philadelphia Inquirer - November 25, 2003
Camden Courier-Post - November 25, 2003
HON. JOSEPH M., JR.
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