A New Jersey couple married over 62 years 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 April 24, according to both of their online obituaries. Their son, John Freda, died April 22 at the age of 51.
Gov. Phil Murphy noted their deaths at a coronavirus news briefing Wednesday, calling it “an extraordinary tragic story.”
“Three tremendous and loving souls all taken from the same family within a span of 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 says, “She was married to her husband, Lawrence, Jr. for over 62 years until his passing on the same day. In death, as in life, they were inseparable.”
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The couple were both born in Newark, New Jersey, and had three sons, including John.
Victoria, known as Vicki, lived for 58 years in Fairfield, about 25 miles west of New York City. She “was known and loved throughout the area and beyond for being a caring, quick-witted, social butterfly,” according to her obituary.
She worked at the township’s Municipal Building and also as an executive secretary to the mayor up until her retirement in 2007. Her hobbies included making Halloween costumes and art projects for her family and friends.
Victoria was also a devoted grandmother who never missed one 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 reads.
“She loved and valued her large Italian family above all else. Taking great pride in the closeness she kept with her large, extended family. Every year, for over 50 years, her and her siblings have taken turns hosting a large Christmas party. Vicki cherished these parties and always loved taking her turn to host them.”
Lawrence, known as Larry, served in the Army 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.
Family members remembered him as a “devoted, loving husband to his wife Victoria” who was known for his “quick wit, biting sense of humor and his God-given ability to make people feel safe and secure.”
Gov. Murphy, who said he had spoken to the family, said John was described as someone who was “funny, thoughtful, 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, enjoyed creating funny social media memes and loved working on art projects using figurines,” it states. “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.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
The post Coronavirus kills New Jersey couple married 62 years, two days after son’s death appeared first on NBC News.