Susan Welkovits, the three-term Highland Park Borough Council member who championed pedestrian and bicycle safety, died early Friday morning July 3, 2020, according to Borough officials. She was 59.
The cause has not been announced but Ms. Welkovits had been battling an illness for several months.
Ms. Welkovits was appointed to the council in 2011 to fill a vacancy. She was reelected three times in 2012, 2015, and 2018. During her tenure, she was a strong advocate for pedestrian and bicycle access, and helped launch the Borough’s Safe Walking And Cycling Committee (SWACC), whose accomplishments included securing a $216,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to install curb cuts and other pedestrian safety improvements around the Bartle and Irving schools.
Ms. Welkovits also worked with SWACC to develop the Highland Park School District Travel Plan and Highland Park School Bike Assessment to document pedestrian and bicycle needs around the schools.
“It is with profound sadness that I have to share the news that my friend, Councilwoman Susan Welkovits (Susie to those who loved her) has passed away,” Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler said in a Facebook post.
“Susie’s incedible commitment to making Highland Park a better place should never be forgotten,” Mayor Brill Mittler added.
Ms. Welkovits and her parents emigrated from Hungary in 1956 and moved to Highland Park when she was a young child. After a successful career in the financial industry, she returned to Highland Park from New York City to raise her twin children.
The family is planning a private memorial service. A public memorial for the Ms. Welkovits will be planned and announced for a later date.
Memorial service details and a full obituary are forthcoming.