Clinton L. Pagano, Sr.
Died: Aug 1, 2017
Pagano, Sr.
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 Colonel Clinton L. Pagano mustered for his final roll call Sunday July 30th 2017.  His public service spanned six decades.  Born in 1928 to Gladys and Girbert Pagano, he and his two brothers Bert and Lester would serve in the US Army and Marine Corp during both WWII and the Korean Conflict.  All three would eventually become Troopers in the New Jersey State Police.    


In 1951 Clinton began his storied career as a NJ State Trooper.  As a Detective in 1954 he investigated auto thefts throughout central NJ and subsequently was promoted to the Attorneys General's office as a special investigator.  Through demonstrated competence Captain Pagano was placed in charge of the NJ State Police's Narcotics Bureau in 1972.  After a series of assignments with increased responsibility Gov. Brendan Byrne chose him as the 9th Superintendent of the NJSP in 1975.  Governors Kean, and Florio continued his superintendency.

The Colonel would serve for over 14 years in that role.  Under his leadership the State Police became a world class investigative organization.  He was responsible for establishing or setting into motion significant public safety programs that still touch each New Jersey resident daily. His team recruited and trained the first female State Troopers.  He professionalized the Civil Defense and Disaster Control service into what we know today as the Emergency Management System.  Under his administration he worked with many major medical institutions and crafted a State Emergency Airlift Trauma service which has saved thousands of lives over the ensuing decades.   He was instrumental in designing and enforcing the rules that govern casino gaming in Atlantic City.  Under his leadership the NJ State Police expanded to over 90 functional areas.  As the President of the International Association of Chief's of Police Colonel Pagano ushered the NJ State Police onto the global arena.  Our Troopers became an international  leader in law enforcement and continue  to consult with other national, state, and local police agencies across the globe.

Colonel Pagano’s service as a Trooper ended in 1990 when he was assigned to head the Division of Motor Vehicles.  He set in motion new data systems, customer service improvements and increased employee morale. He eventually retired from public service in 1991.  He then turned his boundless energy and leadership acumen into a successful corporate career.  Over the ensuing three decades he would sit on the boards of numerous corporations, help Native American Tribes build casino businesses and advise numerous startup organizations.

Throughout his life he worked with Presidents, Princes, Captains of industry, Senators, Congressman and most importantly the men and women of the New Jersey State Police.  His dedication and service to the people of New Jersey and the Nation made him a friend to many and an enemy of few.  Words cannot describe his love for this state, his nation and his family.  He was a quiet person who lead with intelligence, fairness and passion.  

The Colonel is survived by his wife of 65 years Audrey; their 3 sons Clinton, Timothy, Daniel and their wives respectively Michele, Deanna and Beth Ann; their 7 grandchildren Clinton III (NJSP), Cynthia, Olivia, Daniel, Christopher, Timothy (Zane); his great grandson Clinton IV and great granddaughter Morgan.  Colonel Pagano is predeceased by his brothers Girbert and Lester and his grandson Dylan.

If you would like to pay your respects there will be a viewing at Cochran Funeral Home 905 High St. Hackettstown NJ on Thursday, August 3rd, from 4-8 pm.  Funeral services will be held at 11am the following morning Friday, August 4th, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 213 Main St. Hackettstown NJ.  A private interment ceremony will be held for dear friends and family at the Cedar Ridge Cemetery, Blairstown NJ later that afternoon.  

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Association of Former New Jersey State Troopers scholarship fund (
www.ftanjsp.org):  NJFTA PO Box 7852; West Trenton, NJ 08628.

 

Condolences:

Bill Eisele #2911
#20
August 5th, 2017 11:58 am
My condolences to Mrs. Pagano and entire family. Colonel Pagano knew the importance of compassion in his tenure as Superintendent. In 1986 my wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was leaking spinal fluid from her nose. Colonel Pagano found out and called me. He relieved me from patrol duty and placed me on light duty for several months while she recuperated from surgery. Semper Fi was not done yet! In 1993 he heard of my Troop car accident and came out of retirement. He secured a helicopter for me and flew me to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Md. Always Faithful and Godspeed to you Colonel.
Brian and Sarah Lewis
#19
August 3rd, 2017 10:37 pm
Our heartfelt condolences to the Pagano family. It has been an honor to know you and call you friend. You will be remembered always.
Dennis Cronin , Captain Retired , Old Bridge Twp.
#18
August 3rd, 2017 10:22 pm
I had the distinct pleasure to work with the Colonel and his office on a number of occasions. He was a pure professional and a credit to the NJSP.... He will be missed by His Troopers and those of us who knew Him. My family and I pass on our condolences to Audrey and the rest of his family....... It's time to rest my friend.
John Huertas 3251 Retired NJSP
#17
August 3rd, 2017 8:32 pm
My deepest condolences to the Pagano family. Colonel Pagano was a dedicated public servant who sense of fairness, compassion,dedication and service exemplified Honor, Duty, Fidelity. It was an honor to serve under his command. Rest in Peace Colonel.
Joe Lucas #1852 - Retired
#16
August 3rd, 2017 3:13 pm
To the Pagano family, My family is so deeply sorry and sad about the passing of Colonel Pagano. I am so proud to have served under the leadership of the Colonel. I was always so amazed how the Colonel remembered all former and current State Police names, and always asked about our families. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at such a sad time. Joe Lucas #1852 and family
Clement J Mezzanotte #2672 Retired NJSP
#15
August 3rd, 2017 10:41 am
My condolences to the Pagano family. Having served under Colonel Pagano's command I will always remember him as a leader who was truly dedicated to his troopers and there welfare evidenced by his commitment to apprehending the individuals who murdered my classmate, Tpr. Phillip Lamonaco #2663. It was an honor and privilege to serve under his command. Rest in peace Colonel.
Roberta
#14
August 2nd, 2017 8:46 pm
To the family of Clinton Pagano Please accept my sincere condolences. I have taken comfort knowing that God . . . will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain.
Victor & Teri Veltre, Jr.
#13
August 2nd, 2017 6:03 pm
Aunt Audrey and family, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Uncle Clem. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your family. We truly appreciate the time Uncle Clem spent with our son, Victor, talking about the history of the NJSP and his experiences during his career. He was very influential in Victor's decision to become a Trooper. Uncle Clem is someone to look up to and will always be remembered as a great man and leader. May your memories and passing time ease the pain of your loss. With love always, Victor, Jr. and Teri
Herb Orth #1723 Retired NJSP
#12
August 2nd, 2017 3:29 pm
Words alone cannot express my sincere condolences to the entire Pagano family. Colonel Pagano, and brothers Bert and Lester have had such a profound effect on both my life and career, they all gave personal attention to the lives of so many Troopers. I was honored to have worked for and serve under the leadership of Colonel Pagano.
Patrick Gleason
#11
August 2nd, 2017 2:47 pm
My deepest condolences on your loss. As a medic, we work with the NJSP on a daily basis, and even after being away from the organization for so long, Col Pagano's mark and legacy is still seen to this day. When I was a senior in high school, I wrote a paper on the State Police, and his office was graciously helpful to me with assisting with research. Rest well Colonel. You deserve it. My prayers and the prayers of my family go to your family during this very difficult time.
Charlie Boklan, USSS NY ret.
#10
August 2nd, 2017 2:02 pm
Deepest condolences to the Pagano family on your loss. As a Secret Service agent who spent most of my 23 year USSS career working in the NY metro area, I've always admired the NJSP and Col. Pagano, who led the agency during the early part of my career. I recall meeting the Colonel at a West Point graduation attended by the President. We spoke of his brother Lester, who as a young Trooper was seriously wounded in 1959 while apprehending Stanley Marrrs, the madman who murdered my Uncle Lester in Blairstown NJ. R.I.P. Col. Clinton Pagano. Your legacy lives on....
Lester Snyder, Sr. (Hackettstown PD (retired)
#9
August 2nd, 2017 1:57 pm
I would like to express my own and my entire family's Sincere Sympathy to the Pagano Family. Col. Pagano was a fine man...strong leader and long time friend. R.I.P. Job well done...
Charlie Boklan, USSS NY ret.
#8
August 2nd, 2017 1:54 pm
Deepest condolences to the Pagano family on your loss. As a Secret Service agent who spent most of my 23 year USSS career working in the NY metro area, I've always admired the NJSP and Col. Pagano, who led the agency during the early part of my career. I recall meeting the Colonel at a West Point graduation attended by the President. We spoke of his brother Lester, who as a young Trooper was seriously wounded in 1959 while apprehending Stanley Marrrs, the madman who murdered my Uncle Lester in Blairstown NJ. R.I.P. Col. Clinton Pagano. Your legacy lives on....
Ed McCabe 2831
#7
August 2nd, 2017 1:43 pm
RIP, Colonel. You were the finest example of a leader I ever knew.
Russ Davidson 2051 (ret.) & wife,Arlene
#6
August 2nd, 2017 10:42 am
With deepest sympathy and condolences to Mrs. Pagano and the immediate family. It was an honor to have served under Colonel Pagano's command. His commitment and professional dedication to the New Jersey State Police was exceptional as well as outstanding. He will be remembered by all..
walter j kowal, 2022, ret
#5
August 2nd, 2017 7:50 am
heartfelt condolences. knew/worked with Colonel Pagano and always found him to be honest, caring, and sincere in all his endeavors and dealing with people. RIP Sir.
Maureen Gonzalez, widow of NJSP Trooper Scott Gonzalez, #5059
#4
August 1st, 2017 9:22 pm
My deepest condolences to the Pagano family. My late husband, NJSP Trooper Scott Gonzalez,#5059, EOW 10/97,graduated academy in 1993. He had a deep admiration and respect for the Col. and was disappointed that he was not able to receive his badge from, or serve under the command of Col Pagano. Perhaps now the two shall meet and continue to watch over and protect us here in NJ. Godspeed. Rest in peace sir.
Joe Budzinski #2322 Retired NJSP
#3
August 1st, 2017 3:04 pm
To the Pagano family: My sincere condolences to the Pagano family. It was an honor to serve under his command. Semper Fi Joe & Judy
Frank R. Szynal #3152 Retired NJSP
#2
August 1st, 2017 2:12 pm
Sincere condolences to the Pagano family. Colonel Pagano was a true professional and gentleman. His dedication to the New Jersey State Police was outstanding, appreciated and will surely be remembered by the personnel who worked under his command. May he Rest in Peace.
Linda Taylor
#1
August 1st, 2017 12:57 pm
To the family of Colonel Pagano, I am so sorry to hear of Colonel Pagano's passing. He was a wonderful, dedicated and motivated person. I enjoyed working with Colonel Pagano at the Division of Motor Vehicles. There are no words to express this loss, but you will all one day meet again.
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