Dr. Godwin Molokwu, Former Board of Ed Candidate, Is 25th Maplewoodian to Die of COVID-19

by The Village Green
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Dr. Godwin Onochie Molokwu, who ran for a seat on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education in 2014, is the 25th Maplewood resident to die as a result of COVID-19.

Dr. Molokwu’s death was announced by Mayor Frank McGehee in a COVID-19 update this morning (see full update below).

In his 2014 candidate’s statement published on Village Green, Dr. Molokwu wrote, “I want to change our school system so it is the best in the state. I am proud to run for an office where I will be a caretaker of the most valuable thing in our lives, our children’s education. I have four children who attend school in this district. My wife Lillian and I chose this community because of the schools, safety and diversity. I have the expertise as a husband, father, medical specialist and former educator to ensure our schools are better than any of the private and charter schools in New Jersey. Our children’s education should be the finest and our homes should be sought after by the home buying public.”

Read Dr. Molokwu’s full candidate’s statement here. 

Dr. Molokwu was an gastroenterologist with a practice in Irvington. He was affiliated with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/RWJBarnabas Health.

According to Tributearchive.com, “Dr. Godwin Onochie Molokwu, of Maplewood, N.J. passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, 2020. The funeral services and interment will take place in Nigeria. A full obituary will follow.”

Village Green will publish Dr. Molokwu’s obituary when it is available.

Dr. Godwin Molokwu, candidate for South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education Credit: Falcon Reese.

From Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee:

Dear Community,

On Wednesday, we lost our former Mayor, colleague and friend Gerard W. (Jerry) Ryan.  

Jerry served on the Maplewood Township Committee from 1992 to 2003 and again from 2009 to 2015. He was our 11th and youngest Mayor serving from 1998 to 2000.

Township Committeeperson and former Mayor Victor De Luca said it best.

“At 59 years of age, Jerry left us too early. Let us recognize all that he did while he was with us and offer our deepest thanks and appreciation to Gerard W. Ryan. May he Rest In Peace.”

Our prayers are with his wife Deborah Ryan and the entire Ryan family during this time.


The Essex County Free Mobile Test site is coming to Maplewood on June 4th.  

The location site and date will be formally added at 2 PM to the www.essexcovid.org website for residents to enroll. The site will be limited to 225 appointments and located at our community pool parking lot.  Special thanks to Essex County Chief of Staff Philip Alagia and team.  Again, Maplewood will not be added as an option to the website until 2 PM.  Please register at www.essexcovid.org and 973-324-995.

Testing is also continuing at Weequahic Park for all Essex county residents. Test times are from 9 am to 12 noon and residents must arrive by car. You can also register at www.essexcovid.org 


It saddens me to share that our community has lost its 25th member to COVID-19.  Dr. Godwin Molokwu. He was 59. A full obituary will follow.  Please keep the Molokwu family and all 24 other families who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in your prayers.

The Maplewood Public Health Division numbers for the period of Friday 5/22 through Friday 5/29 are as follows:

  • Total Cases: 295 (+16) Age range of new cases: 17 to 90. The 17 yo was confirmed Friday. 
  • Probable Cases: 6 (+2)
  • Total Deaths: 25 (+1) 
  • Total recovered cases: 195 (+14)
  • NJ Statewide confirmed cases: 158,844 (+7,372)
  • Essex County confirmed cases: 17,546 (+640) (3rd highest county in NJ) 
  • Essex County confirmed deaths: 1,647 (+71) (highest county in NJ) 

The Maplewood COVID-19 website https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/covid19 

For COVID-19 questions, please call 2-1-1 or our Public Health Division at (973) 762-8120.



Individuals within the Township of Maplewood’s parks are required to have face coverings and practice social distancing and use face coverings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  We are healthier together by staying apart. 


DCA Short-Term Rental Assistance Program 

A Short-Term Rental Assistance Program to serve very low income and homeless or at risk of homelessness with up to 12 months of rental assistance will launch on June 15.

Households will be selected by the DCA through the Coordinated Entry process in each county’s Homeless Management Information System. 

Additional funding will be administered by an online lottery. When the lottery is opened, households may submit applications.  Applicants selected through the lottery will be eligible to receive up to six months of short-term rental assistance. 

Households may qualify for the lottery based on the following standards: 

  • Eligibility Requirements
  • New Jersey residency
  • Income
  • Current in rental payments as of March 1, 2020.

DCA will provide the centralized application intake, eligibility review, and payment directly to participants’ landlords.

Please visit the COVID-19 Short Term Rental Assistance Program website: https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/shorttermrap.html for more details.

New Jersey launches a contact tracing program 

The tracing program which is a full time commitment has launched. People will be scheduled 7 days a week between 8am-8pm, but not to exceed 35 hours per week. To learn more about contact tracing, you can complete this free training which will be required for all contact tracers and please register at https://covid19.nj.gov/forms/tracer to be notified when opportunities become available


Food Distribution

The next Essex County Emergency Food Distribution Event Will be on Thursday, June 4th at Essex County Codey Arena At 10 AM at 560 Northfield Ave. in West Orange. 1,000 boxes of food that will be distributed. Please come rain or shine.

Online Grocery Shopping for SNAP Recipients

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are now able to use their benefits to order groceries online.  Online shopping is available through Amazon and participating Walmarts, ShopRites and The Fresh Grocers. Visit njhelps.org to learn more and apply for food assistance and other benefits.

Mayor Frank





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