A New Jersey couple who had been married for 62 years died from the coronavirus, hours apart and just two days after losing their son to the virus.
Larry and Vicki Freda, and their son John Freda, died at the end of April, according to obituaries. Governor Phil Murphy paid tribute to the family at his press conference on Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging them for their contributions to New Jersey.
Larry and Vicki, both from Newark, raised their family in Fairfield. “In death, as in life, they were inseparable,” reads an obituary from Vicki.
Vicki Freda held several positions at the Township of Fairfield Municipal Building, before retiring as Executive Secretary to the Mayor in 2007.
“She was incredibly creative and a den mom in Cubs to each of her three sons,” Murphy said.
Larry Freda, an Army veteran who was stationed in Europe, worked for the former Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery in Newark for 24 years. He ended his career as a guard at West Essex Regional High School.
“Everyone knew him for his humor and his smile,” Murphy said.
In their later years, they were the full-time grandparents of their six grandsons, according to obituaries. The two enjoyed spending time with friends around Fairfield and taking trips to casinos, obituaries say.
Their son John was 52 years old. A licensed optician, John loved social media memes and doing art projects with figurines.
“John was a proud Jersey product all the way through,” Murphy said of John. “He had a creative soul, loving writing, drawing and working on art projects. He was an avid reader and a cinephile.
John is survived by his three sons and two brothers.