NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The life and impact of New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver was celebrated in a memorial service held Saturday.
The trailblazing lawmaker passed away on August 1 after she was admitted to the hospital with an undisclosed medical issue.
The Reverand Al Sharpton and a host of New Jersey officials honored Oliver during a funeral procession at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.
Among the large gathering were loved ones, such as Oliver's 95-year-old mother, as well as previous and current governors of the state.
"She never backed down, she never sold out, she never turned her back on the people that made her. She was and is ours and always will be," said Rev. Sharpton.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy championed Oliver as a "first-rate fighter for every New Jerseyan."
"No matter the office, Sheila won whatever victory she could for the forgotten families of our state. And as a changemaker, she was always ahead of the curve," said Murphy.
Fellow NJ native Dionne Warwick also echoed the sentiment, calling her friend "a person who never, ever met a stranger" and who "knew everyone intimately even though they were not intimately known."
"She loved to laugh - and she loved a good piece of gossip, too," Warwick said, drawing smiles and laughter from the crowd - including herself.
Saturday's procession brings an end to the three-day celebration of life held in the lieutenant governor's honor.
Oliver was a barrier-breaker, becoming the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the State Assembly.
In addition to serving as Governor Phil Murphy's top deputy, stepping in while he was out of the state, Oliver also oversaw the Department of Community Affairs, which coordinates state aid to towns and cities and supervises code enforcement.
Oliver was in the Assembly, serving as speaker from 2010 to 2014, before becoming Murphy's running mate in 2017.
The state constitution requires Murphy to name a successor within 45 days of the vacancy. Until he does so, Senate President Nicholas Scutari will serve as acting governor if Murphy leaves the state or is incapacitated.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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