• The Hammonton Gazette

Norman “Zeke” LaFreda



Norman “Zeke” LaFreda, 87, of Hammonton, N.J. went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, January 10, 2022.


Born on September 19, 1934, in Cecil, N.J., he lived in Hammonton before retiring to Florida in 1989, eventually moving back to Hammonton in 1994 where he lived until his passing.


People, who knew him well, knew that he was passionate about his God, Jesus, his church and his family … and playing pinochle at the Hammonton Canoe Club. He loved visiting and playing with his grandchildren (Cole, Seth, Addison and Piper), eating Chinese takeout and enjoyed flying his own airplane around the country to visit his old “war buddies.” He was a generous man with a big heart which he often tried to hide, but to no avail. He was drafted into the Regular Army in 1957 during the Korean conflict and served in Heidelberg, Germany as a draftsman making maps from U-2 surveillance photos. Later, he was a union carpenter and built many homes and businesses in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas including the LaNor Villas Condominiums. At the age of 48, he turned his passion and hobby of flying into a career, being hired by a commuter airline flying regularly scheduled feeder routes for Delta, as well as on-demand corporate and charter flights.


He is predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Lena (nee Vezza) LaFreda of Rosedale, N.J. and his older sister, Doris DeStefano of Hammonton, N.J.


He is survived by his younger sister, Loretta Dachowski, and his three children: son, Brian LaFreda (wife Trinity) of Hammonton, N.J.; son, David LaFreda (wife Martha) of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; and daughter, Toni (“Sugar”) Benefiel (husband Blake) of Fishers, Ind.


A memorial service was held on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 7 p.m. at his home church, Calvary Chapel of Hammonton at 660 S. Egg Harbor Road, Hammonton, N.J. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Hammonton Canoe Club 100 Central Ave., Hammonton, NJ 08037. Please put “In Memory of Norman LaFreda” in memo.


Arrangements made by the Carnesale Funeral Home, Hammonton, N.J. (www.carnesalefuneralhome.com)