A New Jersey couple married for more than 62 years have died hours apart from COVID-19, just two days after their son also died from the coronavirus.
Victoria Freda, 83, and her husband, Lawrence Freda Jr., 85, died on April 24, according to their two obituaries online. Their son, John Freda, died on April 22 at the age of 51.
Governor Phil Murphy noted their deaths during a coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday, calling it “extraordinary tragic.”
“Three wonderful and loving souls were all taken from the same family within 48 hours,” he said. “For them and for all, we must do everything we can to slow the spread of this virus and save lives. “
Victoria’s obituary reads: “She was married to her husband, Lawrence, Jr. for over 62 years until his death the same day. In death, as in life, they were inseparable. “
The couple were born in Newark, New Jersey, and had three sons, including John.
Victoria, known as Vicki, lived 58 years in Fairfield, about 25 miles west of New York City. She “was known and loved throughout the region and beyond for being a caring, quick-witted social butterfly,” according to her obituary.
She worked in the township municipal building and also as the mayor’s executive secretary until her retirement in 2007. Her hobbies included making Halloween costumes and art projects for family and friends.
Victoria was also a dedicated grandmother who never missed any of her grandchildren’s sporting events no matter the weather, the obituary says.
“She was more than a familiar face in the crowd, and the grandmother everyone wanted to call their own,” it read.
“She loved and valued her large Italian family above all else. She was very proud of the closeness she had with her large extended family. Every year, for over 50 years, she and her siblings have taken turns hosting a big Christmas party. Vicki cherished these parties and always loved taking her turn to host them. ”
Lawrence, known as Larry, served in the military and was stationed in Europe, his family wrote in his obituary. He worked for a brewery in Newark for over 24 years and as a custodian at a high school in North Caldwell.
He was remembered by family members as a “devoted and loving husband to his wife Victoria” who was known for his “quick wit, biting sense of humor and his God-given ability to ensure that people feel safe ”.
Governor Murphy, who said he spoke to the family, said John was described as “funny, caring, intelligent, [and] introspective. “
His obituary said he was a “creative soul” who enjoyed watching movies and reading books.
“He had a real talent for writing and drawing, loved to create funny memes on social media, and enjoyed working on art projects using figurines,” he says. “John had a knack for trying to make people feel special. “
Victoria and Lawrence are survived by two sons, six grandchildren and a host of other family members. John is survived by his three sons and several other family members.