2024 Annual Memorial Day Observance

Michael Del Vecchio, Korean War Veteran & National Drum Corps Hall-of-Fame bugler.

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners recognizes resident Veterans by presenting them with the Distinguished Military Service Medal. These medals are unique to Morris County and were first issued in 1999 to honor World War II veterans on the 55th Anniversary of the 1944 D-Day invasion and the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. Morris County expanded the medals to include Vietnam and Korea, as well as general service in the military during other conflicts. In 2022, Morris County unveiled medals for Iraq and Afghanistan. These medals are presented to veterans who served honorably and who have helped to make the country and Morris County a better place to live.

The 2024 Memorial Day Observance Ceremony

Morris County Distinguished Service Medals were presented at a Memorial Day Observance on May 22.

See the photos

Veterans Receiving Awards

Peter L. Cullen, Dover

Peter Cullen Peter L. Cullen is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969. He received the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Marksman Badge (M-14), the Expert Sharpshooter Badge (M-60), the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Vietnam Service Medal. 

After his military service, Cullen worked as a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Interviewer. He completed courses at the National Veterans Training Institute and earned degrees from the County College of Morris and Seton Hall University.

Cullen is an active member of the Dover VFW and has served as chaplain with American Legion Post 27 in Dover and VFW Post 493 in Nutley. He has volunteered with the Belleville Chapter of Disabled American Veterans and Stand Down of North Jersey. He also plans events for homeless veterans in Newark and serves as Sergeant at Arms for the Irish American Association of Northwest New Jersey.

Cullen enjoys studying U.S. military, European, modern American, and Morris County history. His hobbies include hiking, travel, classic films, and reading. Veteran Cullen and Commissioner Shaw


Dr. Kimberly S. Dean, Chester Township

Dr. Kimberly Dean Kimberly S. Dean served in the U.S. Army from April 1998 to July 2023. She is a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, participating in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Ms. Dean earned the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal 10LC, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Among her many military roles, Ms. Dean was the first detachment commander - medical service officer for the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, the officer in charge of a Medical Recruiting Command, an action operations officer for the Warrior Transition Command, acting division surgeon in a training command, executive officer for a U.S. Army Field Medical Hospital, headquarters detachment commander of a Multifunctional Medical Command, a health services administration officer, and assistant professor of military science and recruiter.

Ms. Dean holds a bachelor's degree in health services administration from the University of Detroit, a master's degree in education from the University of Cambridge, and a doctorate in education from Virginia State University.

In her personal life, Dr. Dean is the First Lady of the Visions of God and Family Worship Church, supporting her husband, the senior pastor. She is a dedicated wife and mother of five children. Post-retirement, she has shifted her focus to educational administration, aiming to guide and inspire the community's youth. Commissioner Krickus and Veteran Dean


Anthony T. Donadio, Randolph Township (posthumous)

Donadio, Anthony Anthony Thomas Donadio, Jr. served in the U.S. Army during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, enlisting in 1954 and attending Officer Candidate School in 1955. He was honorably discharged as a lieutenant colonel after 23 years with the Army Reserves in 1978. 

Following military service, Mr. Donadio remained active in the veteran’s community as a member of the American Legion. He earned a degree in chemistry from Manhattan College and founded two businesses. In his free time, he enjoyed growing orchids, fishing in the Florida Keys, and collecting with his son.

Mr. Donadio passed away on June 29, 2022, after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marie Antonia, his daughters Gina Donadio-Pelligrino and Lisa Donadio-Tappan, and his son Thomas Donadio III. He was also blessed with four grandchildren in his lifetime. Commissioner Smith and the adult daughter of Veteran Donadio.jpg


Fabio A. Escobar, Randolph Township

Fabio Escobar Fabio A. Escobar is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served from 2015 to 2016. He finished his service as an E-3 Squad leader for the 1st and 2nd Platoon in Lima Company at Camp Geiger, N.C. For his service, he received the National Defense Service Medal and the Sharpshooter Qualification Badge (Rifle).

Mr. Escobar currently works for Mercedes Benz in Morristown, while studying for a degree in advertising. He volunteers for the New Smile for Veterans program that provides dental care at no cost to veterans, while encouraging teenagers who are seeking direction in life to pursue military service. Commissioner Smith places a medal over the shoulders of Veteran Escobar.


Susan Eno Foelsch-Maher, Chatham Borough

Susan Maher Susan Eno Foelsch-Maher served with the U.S. Army Reserve from 1988 to 1994 and in the Individual Ready Reserve until her honorable discharge in 1996. For her service, she received the Army Service Ribbon, the Marksman Qualification Badge (M16), and the Expert Qualification Badge (Hand Grenade).

After earning a bachelor’s degree in education, Ms. Foelsch-Maher enlisted and remained a non-commissioned officer in which she served as a soldier combat medic and certified army trainer in her unit. As a squad leader, while at Basic and Military Occupational Specialties Training, Ms. Foelsch-Maher tutored fellow soldiers to complete their high school equivalency degrees.

During Operation Desert Shield, Ms. Foelsch-Maher field tested a pop-up hazmat hospital and field gear, instructed Reserve Officer Training Corps and rapid first aid train up classes prior to troop deployment, clinic coverage, firing range coverage, and administrative duties.

She later earned a master’s degree in educational administration at Lesley University, and has been an elementary principal, nursery board member and school director. She is currently employed by the School District of Chathams. She has been a resident of Chatham Borough for more than 20 years, where she and her husband have lovingly raised three children.

Ms. Foelsch-Maher enjoys leading youth groups, playing softball and singing with her daughter in the Hickory Tree Chapter of the Sweet Adelines Chorus. She is also a member of the Chatham Borough Community Emergency Response Team. Susan Foelsch-Maher shakes Commissioner Selen's hand after receiving her medal.


Wayne F. Henderson, Madison

Wayne Henderson Wayne F. Henderson is a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran who served from 1964 to 1972.

He is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Expert Marksman Badge (Pistol and Rifle), the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device and the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal Color with Palm).

Mr. Henderson enrolled in Purdue University in 1959 on a full Navy ROTC scholarship, becoming the first freshman to be chosen as drill captain for the six-time National Champion Purdue Drill Team, which performed at the White House for President Kennedy in 1961. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a double major in industrial engineering and industrial management/finance in 1964.

After graduating from Purdue, Henderson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to The Basic School in Quantico, Va., where he graduated at the top of his class. In Vietnam, Captain Henderson participated in and/or led 40 combat patrols, ambushes, search and destroy operations, and long-range reconnaissance missions. He also trained local village militias and flew more than 20 aerial observer missions. For his actions during deployment, Wayne was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a combat “V” for valor.

Post-Vietnam, he served as adjutant of the Marine Barracks in Pearl Harbor with the Casualty Notification and Assistance Office. After separating from active duty, he became Company Commander for the 2nd Battalion 24th Marines Reserve unit in Chicago, where he led the rifle company to win the General Clifton Cates award.

Mr. Henderson had a successful career at AT&T, briefly retiring as director of network operations in 1990 before founding Capital Dynamics International, a high-tech consulting company that brought internet access and telecom service to millions of unserved families around the globe.

At present day, he continues to executive coach to Fortune 500 corporations, is a member of the Madison Patriotic Celebrations Committee since 2002 and is a pro-bono business consultant and mentor Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Veterans Launching Ventures Program since 2008.

Mr. Henderson is a certified SCUBA master diver with over 1,000 logged dives, an activity he enjoys partaking in with his wife, Stacie, at least two weeks per year. They are both active members of the Madison YMCA and at 82-years-old, he still enjoys skiing. He is the proud father of son, Kevin, who is an Air Force Veteran, and daughter, Reily, who is a school librarian. A music lover, Wayne also toured as a backup singer with Louie Armstong one summer before starting college.Commissioner Cabana shakes Veteran Henderson's hand after giving him his medal.


Elihu W. Kaufman, Long Hill Township

Elihu Kaufman Elihu W. Kaufman is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Navy on active duty from June 1970 to October 1971, before serving an additional three-and-a-half years in the Reserves. He is the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation. 

While in the Navy, Mr. Kaufman worked in computer operations aboard ships. He has worked in the IT field for 50 years with various corporations including Blue Cross of New Jersey, Revlon, AT&T, Maersk SeaLand Shipping Company, and IBM. He is certified as a Project Management Professional.

Mr. Kaufman volunteers as an elections poll worker in Morris County and Somerset County. He has a passion for music and exercise, and works out every day. During a two-year period in which he set out to be healthier, his regime enabled him to lose 75 pounds. Commissioner Cabana and Veteran Kaufman


Soo W. "Bill" Lee, Roxbury Township

Bill Lee Bill Lee is a Korean War veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1954 until he was honorably discharged in 1956, at which time he spent six more years in the Reserves. For his service, he received the Good Conduct Medal. In civilian life, Mr. Lee worked for Westinghouse, the U.S. Postal Service and Picatinny Arsenal. He is a member of the Forever Young Seniors in Roxbury and has volunteered with the Heightened Independence and Progress Center for Independent Living. Mr. Lee also participated as a volunteer in the Honolulu Marathon. Among his hobbies, he enjoys travel, gardening, walking and fishing, in addition to keeping up with the news. Commissioner Shaw shakes Veteran Lee's hand after giving him his medal.

Mateo Osorio, Madison

Mateo Osario Mateo Osorio is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in the Global War on Terror’s Operation Enduring Freedom from 2011 to 2015. He deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit to U.S. Central Command, as well as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. 

He is the recipient of the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for duty in Afghanistan, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and a Sharpshooter Rifle Qualification Badge.

After his military career, Mr. Osorio obtained a degree from Columbia University, and became a financial analyst in the investment banking industry. He is a loving father of three children after just welcoming a new baby into the world last year. Commissioner Selen and Veteran Osario


Robert J. McDonnell, Lincoln Park

R. McDonnell Robert McDonnell served in the U.S. Army from September 1966 to August 1968 during the Vietnam War. As a first lieutenant with the 337th Signal Company, 1st Signal Brigade, and operations officer of the 37th Signal Battalion, he helped deploy the Troposcatter Microwave Communications System and other advanced technology in the Army’s I Corps. For his service, Mr. McDonnell received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Bronze Service Star.

Mr. McDonnell holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Norwich University, a master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University, and a graduate certificate in regulatory economics from Stanford. He worked in the telecommunications industry with companies that include Verizon, Bell Atlantic, and AT&T, focusing on telecom regulatory policy. He later founded a company that mediated nearly 800 civil cases and taught mediation at the N.J. Association of Professional Mediators program. In retirement, he volunteers as a mediator with municipal courts in Morris County.

Active in veterans’ organizations, Mr. McDonnell served as vice president, trustee, and volunteer with Welcome Home Veterans of New Jersey and is a member of American Legion Post 59 in Morristown and VFW Post 3401 in Morris Plains. Married to his wife, Sandi, for 25 years, he has three children, three stepchildren, and 11 grandchildren. He enjoys traveling, gardening, playing golf and chess, and spending time with family. Commissioner Mastrangelo and Veteran McDonnell


Frank Rigillo, East Hanover

Rigillo Frank Rigillo is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served from 1980 to 1986, including a tour of duty in Beirut, Lebanon with the Multi-National Peace Keeping Force.

He was awarded the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon First and Second Awards, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy Expeditionary Metal for his service in Lebanon.

Following military service, Mr. Rigillo attended the Culinary Institute of America and became the chef and owner of several restaurants. He was the personal chef for a naval commodore on a helicopter carrier and has cooked for dignitaries including the king of Norway.

Mr. Rigillo is a volunteer with Morris County Parks, the Morris Habitat for Humanity Restore, and is a certified peer advisor for the Amputee Coalition.

He is a loving husband to wife, Marcia, and proud father of sons, Frankie and Michael. In addition to cooking, Mr. Rigillo enjoys art, oil and acrylic painting, paranormal investigations and traveling. Commissioner Shaw shakes Veteran Rigillo's hand after giving him his medal.


Robert W. Smith, Florham Park (posthumous)

World War 2 pilot Robert W. Smith Robert W. Smith was a World War II veteran who served from 1944 to 1945. As a pilot, he flew the B-17 Flying Fortress with the 8th Army Air Force, including 35 combat missions over Northern France, Germany and the Balkans. For his service, he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, three Service Stars and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. According to his obituary, he was commended for his service during World War II in 1996 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

After his service, Smith graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University and Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall Law School. He went on to become the Senior Vice President and Chief Pension Officer of Prudential Insurance Company and later the Business Administrator for the City of Newark.

Mr. Smith was active in the community, giving back through his volunteer work as Chairman and Trustee for the Papermill Playhouse, preparing tax returns for senior citizens, and conducting studies for the Montclair Library and Morris County.

He continued to fly, piloting 152 and 172 Cessnas, and also enjoyed boating and fishing at the Jersey shore. He was a devoted father to sons, Jeffrey and Timothy. Robert passed away on March 13, 2013, leaving behind his beloved wife, Inez. Inez Smith, the widow of Veteran Robert Smith and Director Commissioner Christine Myers



Brian Stanislaus, Mount Olive

BStanislaus Brian Stanislaus is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served from 1978 to 1985 during the Invasion of Grenada. 

He is the recipient of the Rifle Expert Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the Pistol Sharpshooter Badge (.38 pistol), the Pistol Marksmanship Badge (.45 Caliber), and a Meritorious Mast.

Mr. Stanislaus earned a master’s degree in information assurance and is a national security doctoral candidate with a concentration in cyber security. He has worked with Fortune 100 companies, holding key positions in Business Resiliency, Risk Management, Cyber Security and Third-Party Risk.

He is an active member with an organization that helps veterans transition from military service to the corporate industry and volunteers with the Veterans’ League Advisory Committee, where he advises others on cloud technology and business resiliency.

In his spare time, Mr. Stanislaus enjoys sailing, home renovation and gardening. He is a member of the Minisceongo Yacht Club and has participated in and won several corporate sailing regattas. Commissioner Krickus gives a medal to Veteran Stanislaus





“Look Back on a Fallen Morris County Hero.”

Morris County Memorial Day Observance 2024


Morris County does not forget its heroes, especially those who have fallen in combat or during military service. As a result, the county has made it a tradition to recognize at least one by name at our Memorial Day Observance, and this year the county looks back on Private William Hedges Baker.

Born in Wharton on December 20, 1895, he was a resident of Dover and a graduate of Dover High School.

Private Baker

At the time of the World War I draft registration, William was a junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He made the decision to leave college and enlist at Fort Oglethorpe on May 2, 1918. Following his enlistment, Private Baker was assigned to the 26th Infantry.

On July 20, 1918, while serving as a stretcher bearer on the battlefield at Ploisy (pronounced plwah-zee), France, Private Baker was fatally shot by enemy fire while attempting to rescue injured comrades. His death occurred instantaneously. Originally laid to rest in France, Private Baker's remains were repatriated to Dover on May 10, 1921. Two days later, on May 12, he was interred in the Orchard Street Cemetery. The American Legion Post, which had been named in his honor, turned out in full force to pay their respects at his funeral. On Memorial Day, a platoon of Marines fired three volleys over his grave.

Private William Hedges Baker was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his valorous actions. His memory is perpetuated on the "Dough Boy" WWI monument in Dover.