Friends, family and law enforcement officials will gather this week to pay their respects to longtime Sheriff William L. Polhemus, who died Dec. 14, little more than a month after he was re-elected to another term.
Polhemus, 84, died on last Friday, after a medical procedure performed earlier last week.
“We are deeply saddened by this great loss,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “Bill has played an integral role in Ocean County government for many, many years. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Agnes and his family and many friends,”
Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. said Sheriff Polhemus always put the needs of the public first.
“He was the consummate law enforcement professional,” Bartlett said. “He was a true friend to Ocean County and to its many residents.”
Visitations are slated from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Timothy E. Ryan Home For Funerals, 145 St. Catherine Blvd. in Toms River. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Presbyterian Church of Toms River, 1070 Hooper Avenue, according to his obituary on Legacy.com.
Polhemus was born and raised in Seaside Heights, the town he later served for so long as a police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and police chief.
He graduated from Toms River High School and then served eight years in the U.S. Naval Reserve Lighter Than Air Squadrons ZP751, ZP752, and ZP753. He was involved in active duty with the Naval Air Reserve Training Command and received an honorable discharge as Petty Officer, 2nd class, his obituary states.
Polhemus was a 1951 graduate of the New Jersey Police Academy. He was first elected as Ocean County Sheriff in 1985, a position he held until his death. He was re-elected to another three-year term in November.
He was a graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute held at F.B.I. Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia; a member of Ocean County Association of Chiefs of Police; the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police; the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Sheriff's Association of New Jersey and a charter member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #10.
Polhemus was also a member of the Ocean County Commission on Missing and Exploited Children; an exempt New Jersey Volunteer Fireman, rank of Battalion Chief; a lifetime member and former president of the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad, a Red Cross Blood Bank chairman for many years.
The sheriff will be buried at Ocean County Memorial Park, 1722 Silverton Rd. in Toms River. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Seaside Heights Fire Department and the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad.
He is survived by Agnes, his wife of 60 years. His son, William L. Polhemus Jr., died in 2009. He is also survived by his daughter, Lorraine Polhemus Adams, Seaside Heights; his daughter-in-law, Linda Polhemus, Ft. Myers, FL; his four grandchildren, Sgt. John C. Adams of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department and his wife Meredith; Melissa L. Adams; Carmela Hornbeck and her husband Joseph; Sgt. William J Polhemus and his wife Ariel; and his six great-grandchildren, Alan Schlanger, Jasmine Adams, Liam Adams, Billy Polhemus, Jacob Polhemus and Evelyn Rose Hornbeck.