Sandberg, Gary Neal

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Gary Neal Sandberg served the public as a highly decorated and dedicated law enforcement professional for thirty-two years before serving his country as an Embedded Police Mentor in Af-ghanistan. Born May 1, 1951 in Newton and raised in Blairstown, New Jersey, Gary lived in Vernon, NJ for nearly 20 years before recently moving to Franklin.

Gary graduated from Blairstown High School, where he played varsity soccer and baseball and was on the wrestling and gymnastics teams. He worked in the family business, Blairstown Au-to Body, before graduating the #165 Municipal Police Class, New Jersey State Police Training Academy in Sea Girt. He attended Seton Hall University, where he studied Criminology and Psy-chology and later completed numerous law enforcement training programs, including the prestig-ious Leadership and Command School at West Point.

Mr. Sandberg was a municipal Police Officer in Blairstown for ten years before joining the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office in 1988, where he worked for twenty-two years as a detective eventually attaining the rank of Captain of Detectives. He had an extensive supervisory background in administration and operations, criminal investigations, prosecutorial case preparation, Internal Affairs, Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism Coordination and collaborated with various municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies. He conducted over 2,500 criminal investiga-tions, most notably in the Major Case/Homicides, Narcotics Task Force and Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Units, and was honored by the Sussex County Detectives Association with the William Ge-ffken “Detective of the Year” award before retiring in 2011. Later he served for two years with Unit-ed Nations Military Forces as an Embedded Police Mentor to the Afghan National Police in sever-al remote operating posts in Afghanistan.

Survivors include his beloved son, Matthew and granddaughter, Malina, step-sons Peter Hendrickson, Andrew and Christopher Fiorenza, his former wife, Kathleen Duca, step-mother, Ann Sandberg, brothers Lenarth R. Sandberg and his wife, Karen, Scott Sandberg and his wife, Doris and Carl Sandberg, sisters Kathleen Gerry and her husband, Christopher, and Jan Zukoski. He also is survived by his Uncle Robert Sandberg and his wife, Judy, his cousins, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother Ruth (Smith) Sandberg, his father, Lenarth T. Sandberg and Uncle Harold Sandberg, his former wife Susan and sister-in-law, Rosalie Sandberg, who was married to Carl.

Memorial visitation will be held Friday April 9, 2021 from 5-8:30 PM with memorial services beginning at 8:30 PM in the Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home #156 Main St. (Rt. 206) Newton, NJ. In lieu of flowers memorials in Gary’s memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org Online condolences through www.iliff-ruggierofuneralhome.com

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