Farewell to an era
Certain times make it readily apparent that a local era is coming to an end. Four notable deaths in the brief time period between March 22 and March 28 remind us that we are losing the people who are our final connection to a special time in Hammonton that began in the 1930s and lasted until the present day.
These four people were part of the fabric of Hammonton for nearly a century, and their time here was well spent, with each person contributing to the town in a manner that left an indelible mark.
Mayor Ralph Morano died at age 86 on March 22. In addition to serving as a longtime councilman and as a one-term mayor from 1996 to 1997, Morano was involved in local athletics, particularly football, and civic life (including 42 years as a Hammonton Lion). He was a devoted family man and served as the Executive Vice President of James Morano and Sons Paper and Cleaning Supplies, the family business.
Carmen “Whispers” Inferrera died at age 90 on March 22. He was a longtime employee of Hammonton Park Clothes, founded by William B. Kessler. He worked as a sleeve setter on men’s suit jackets—most notably on a suit jacket for 36th President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson. He later worked for William Crescenzo Inc. Inferrera was the oldest-living member of the Sons of Italy Giuseppe Garibaldi Lodge #1658, a member since June 1, 1952. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he served in the Korean War as a member of the United States Marine Corps.
Anne Bruno died at the age of 96 on March 23. A businesswoman who was active in the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce, Bruno was also a mother. Her professionalism and dedication to Hammonton and its business community was nearly unrivaled in her roles with title companies and her promotion of local businesses through the Chamber.
Frank Scola died at the age of 80 on March 28. Scola owned his own car and truck repair service and was a family man who dedicated himself to his Catholic faith, both through decades of commitment to St. Joseph High School and through his longtime association and leadership of the Knights of Columbus Pallotti Council #3471 and the St. Vincent Pallotti Council #680 (Fourth Degree).
The obvious thread that connects these four people is their longtime residency in Hammonton—and what they did with the time they lived here. They raised families, were deeply involved with the community in important ways, and even after their deaths, they remain examples for the rest of us who live in Hammonton. It is, in a sense, a farewell not only to them, but their era. Now it is our turn.
They did their part. So should we.