She Loved People and People Loved Her Back
Justice Marie Garibaldi
A remarkable woman of peerless professional accomplishments, the late Marie Garibaldi was a jurist who became the first female New Jersey Supreme Court judge. But those who knew her would say Marie's love of the law was equaled, if not surpassed, by her love of those around her.
A cause close to her heart.
An only child, Marie lived most of her life in Hudson County, where her father was a physician at St. Francis Hospital. Alongside her ascent in the legal and judicial world, her early connection to medicine became magnified through her involvement at Hackensack University Medical Center. Since joining the family in 2001, she served in many leadership positions on the medical center, network and Foundation boards, including first vice chair of the Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Governors. Through each engagement she made a deep impression not only through her philanthropic generosity but, most importantly, through her generosity of spirit. Marie felt strongly about testamentary giving, and headed the Foundation's planned giving initiatives for many years. As one who led by example, Marie gave credence to her words and efforts through her own planned gift.
Justice Garibaldi's devotion and passion to the medical center was unquestionable and she exuded unending energy, intellectual rigor and dignity in everything she did. Her legacy will be long remembered with affection and admiration. Marie was consistently involved with many causes close to her heart, and the medical center was only one of many organizations she supported through board service and volunteerism. Amongst others, she chaired the Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Italian American Foundation.
Leading the way with warmth and wit.
Although she would never have admitted this, Marie was a trailblazer for women, raised with a strong belief in equal opportunity. After learning certain business schools did not accept women applicants, she enrolled in Columbia Law School, graduating in 1959. By the time she retired from the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2000, after an illustrious 40-year career, Justice Garibaldi had become one of the Stat'’s most respected legal figures, especially noted for serving as the first female justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. During her time on the bench, she wrote more than 225 opinions, including a number of noteworthy dissents.
To those fortunate enough to be a friend or a colleague, Marie's warmth and wit infused all her relationships — as a mentor, a confidante, a shoulder or a role model. She had a vast, extended family comprising many friends from all walks of life, and the bonds she formed were always lasting ones. In fact, Marie maintained close ties with many of her law clerks, creating friendships that were treasured throughout her lifetime. For Marie Garibaldi, being the answer in her life and work – and her involvement with Hackensack University Medical Center — meant saying what needed to be said and doing what needed to be done. The way she always had: gracefully, compassionately, determinedly.