New Jersey Couple Married for 62 Years Die of COVID-19 on the Same Day, 2 Days After Son's Death
A New Jersey couple described as "inseparable" died from the novel coronavirus just hours apart after losing their son to the same disease two days prior.
Newark natives Lawrence "Larry" Freda, 85, and Victoria "Vicki" Freda, 83, were married for 62 years when they died of COVID-19 on April 24, according to their online obituaries. Their 51-year-old son, John Freda, died of coronavirus on April 22.
N.J Gov. Phil Murphy honored the trio in a series of tweets on Wednesday, writing, "We remember Larry and Vicki Freda, and their son, John. One family."
"Larry and Vicki loved being grandparents, and always had fun," he added. "May God bless these three souls."
Larry served in the U.S. Army at an outpost in Europe before embarking on a 24-year career at the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery in his hometown, according to his obituary. He was then a custodian at West Essex Regional High School.
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The patriarch was described by loved ones a "devoted, loving husband" whose "greatest pleasure in life was taking care of and spending time with his beloved wife."
"In death, as in life, they were inseparable," Vicki's obituary read.
According to relatives, Vicki had numerous roles around the Township of Fairfield. Known for "being a caring, quick-witted, social butterfly," she worked at the Township of Fairfield Municipal Building over a number of years before retiring in 2007 as the executive secretary to the mayor.
The matriarch's varying interests included crafting, poetry and spending time as a den mother in the Cub Scouts for her three sons. Vicki and Larry also "enjoyed their trips to the casino and they always had fun whether they won or lost," the tribute read.
In their final years, the longtime couple — who had two sons in addition to John — were full-time grandparents to their six grandsons, according to their obituaries.
A licensed optician, John was remembered as a "creative soul" who "loved movies, television, books, and the superhero universe" in his obit.
"He was always working on something," it read. "John had a knack for trying to make people feel special. He would spend hours searching for or creating the perfect gift to give someone."
John is survived by his three sons.
"John was a proud Jersey product all the way," Murphy tweeted on Wednesday. "He was an avid reader & movie buff. John was funny, thoughtful, intelligent, & introspective."
As of Thursday, there have been more than 5,247,400 cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 166,700 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to a New York Times database.
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