Wantage dedicates field to late administrator

| 18 Apr 2018 | 11:31

Friends and family members, dignitaries, and the Sussex, Colesville, and Beemerville Volunteer Fire Departments dedicated on April 14 the James R. Doherty Memorial Baseball Field and monument, in Woodbourne Veterans Memorial Park.
Doherty, the borough administrator/clerk of more than 15 years, died on April 23, 2016, at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick after a year-long battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 57 years old.
Attending dignitaries were: 24th Legislative District Assemblymen Parker Space and Harold Wirths, Mayor Bill Gaechter, Deputy Mayor Ronald Bassani, Committeeman Jon Morris, County Clerk Jeff Parrott, along with Doherty's family: Allison, Justine, and James P. Doherty.
The dedication was part of the Sussex-Wantage Little League's opening day parade. Bassani and Morris threw the ceremonial first pitches.
The Wantage Committee took turns speaking of Doherty's impressive professional titles, accomplishments, and success — both professionally and in his family.
Gaechter said, the field and monument would be a lasting tribute.
Bassani told Allison, Doherty's wife, Jim's greatest accomplishment was her — by the evident love between the two of them.
Morris said, “He was a public servant. He served us well. I called him friend.”
Space remembered how Doherty loved Wantage Township and raising his family there.
Wirths complimented Doherty on his biggest accomplishment — how his family had turned out.
Wantage Township Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee member Warren Wisse read an email on behalf of the Wantage Recreation Committee President Greg Williams, remembering how Doherty and the recreation committee helped build a football field, a 911 Memorial, a war memorial, brought new light to the Wantage Christmas Tree, set the foundation for ideas regarding the newest pavilion and “The park he loved and helped build.”
The Wantage Township Committee unveiled the monument; Rev. Bob Meeker of Christian Faith Fellowship Church, gave the blessing; and Bagpiper Jeffrey Korger played, “Amazing Grace.”
Allison Doherty thanked everyone and said the location of the monument in the park was perfect — the park Doherty worked so hard developing with Township Engineer Harold Pellow. She said her husband had worked to get financing, and with the grace and courage of the mayor, they built a beautiful park for everyone to use and enjoy. She added, Doherty was a Little League player in his youth, so he would have loved that the field is named for him — a beautiful tribute.
She concluded, “Have a great season, and play ball!”