Life and career
Lance was born and raised in Glen Gardner, New Jersey, the son of Florence S. (née Smith) and Leonard Arville Lance. He attended Lafayette College and Harvard Law School. He was first elected to the Assembly in 1937, and to the Senate in 1941. Lance was a delegate to the 1947 constitutional convention that established the current New Jersey State Constitution, and to the 1966 convention that established the current New Jersey Legislature with 40 senators and 80 assemblymembers. He served in the Senate from 1942 to 1943, succeeding Arthur F. Foran, and stepped down to enter the United States Navy. He was reelected to the Senate in 1954 and served until 1962. He was Senate President during the 1959 term.
Lance was a practicing lawyer for 70 years, including 64 years as the municipal attorney of Lebanon Township, New Jersey. One of his sons, Leonard Lance, served in the Assembly from 1992 to 2002, in the New Jersey Senate from 2002 to 2009, and in the House of Representatives beginning in 2009. James Lance, Leonard's twin brother, is an attorney practicing in Clinton, New Jersey.
Wesley Lance died at age 98, Clinton, New Jersey. His memorial service was held on August 30, 2007 at the Spruce Run Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church. His children were raised in their mother's Roman Catholic faith.
- Social Security Death Index via Ancestry.com.
- Hester Jr., Tom. "Wesley Lance, 98; in '47 helped craft N.J. Constitution", The Record (Bergen County), August 28, 2007. Accessed August 28, 2007.
- Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual: State of New Jersey (2007), Skinder-Strauss Associates, Newark, New Jersey, ISBN 1-57741-245-1.
- "An Unassuming Leader; Wesley Leonard Lance". The New York Times. 1959-01-14. p. 18. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
- Jackson, Herb. "Politics, a family business", The Record (Bergen County), February 3, 2003. Accessed July 6, 2007. "Sen. Leonard Lance, R-Hunterdon, is the son and great-nephew of legislators."
Richard R. Stout
|President of the New Jersey Senate
George B. Harper