God answered his prayers and took back Peter Anthony LaFemina. After never having a sick day during a 40-year career with New York Telephone and Nynex, Pete had battled numerous illnesses in his later years. He fought and beat prostate cancer head-on shortly after retiring but the effects of the treatment eventually took their toll. Towards the end, complications from diseases overcame his will to continue and he left us on December 15th.
Pete (named Pasquale at birth) was born on May 12, 1931 in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York, followed a few years later by his sister, Theresa. Their parents, Anthony “Tony” LaFemina and the former Angelina “Julia” Servillo were both the children of immigrants originally from the Campania region of Italy. Besides his Mom’s cooking, “Sonny” (as he would be called by his family), would also grow a passion for baseball. When he wasn’t rooting for Joe DiMaggio and his Yankees, Sonny would be playing sandlot ball becoming good enough to be invited to spring training by the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pete also honed his skills as a drummer during his teen years by playing with a few bands in Manhattan. He served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War but was fortunate to not have seen live combat. One of his thrills was serving as chauffeur to Admiral Nimitz during his visits to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
He married Gladys Wexler in 1953 and they eventually settled in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn where they bought their first home. Pete and Gladys (there was a TV series by the same name in the early ‘60’s) had four beautiful children beginning with Karen, and followed by Peter, Michael, and Thomas. While Mom was home taking care of the kids, Dad was building a remarkable career at New York Telephone, beginning in the trenches as a splicer and eventually working himself up to Construction Superintendent in charge of Brooklyn North. He took an early retirement from Nynex, sold the house and they moved to the green pastures of Monroe Township.
Besides his wife Gladys and their daughter Karen Pasqua and her husband Greg of Brooklyn, New York; son Peter LaFemina and his wife Lori of Seattle, Washington; son Michael LaFemina of Creamridge, New Jersey; and son Thomas LaFemina and his wife Debra of Old Bridge, New Jersey, Pete is survived by eight grandchildren as well as his sister, Theresa Patella of Old Bridge, New Jersey and countless nieces and nephews. Viewing services will be held at M. David DeMarco Funeral Home at 205 Rhode Hall Road in Monroe Township on Wednesday, December 18th from 2pm-4pm and 7pm to 9pm. A funeral mass will be held at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Jamesburg at 10:30am on Thursday, December 19th.