Barbara Ceravolo recognized a catch when she saw one. So she knew what to do when Larry Piquet showed up as her blind date on that February night in 1959.

“He was handsome, polite, older, gentlemanly,” Barbara said. “So we got married in October.”

And what a ride. Barbara and Larry had two sons and two grandchildren, lived happily much of their lives in South Jersey, and traveled to more exotic places than she can remember. They were sustained largely, she said, by Larry’s kindness and quirky personality that kept things interesting.

Mr. Piquet, 85, died Thursday, April 16, a month before his birthday, at Inspira Health Center Mullica Hill of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the coronavirus.

Born in Camden, Mr. Piquet graduated from Moorestown High School and Temple University and worked first in finance for several companies. Then he became a social worker for the Cumberland County Division of Social Services. He made the move into social work, Barbara said, because he had a driving passion to help others.

“He was the most thoughtful and considerate friend I have ever had,” she wrote in a tribute.

Mr. Piquet, on one of his many getaways, loved to travel and take home local art.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Piquet, on one of his many getaways, loved to travel and take home local art.

Although he was generally quiet, Mr. Piquet had a distinctive sense of humor. He liked to cut out newspaper cartoons and present them to friends and family at gatherings. His friends described his humor as “different,” Barbara said with a laugh.

Indeed, he liked to buy oddball used cars and especially enjoyed his bright orange Fiat with the orange dashboard. “He bought the cars on the lot that nobody else would buy,” Barbara said. Mr. Piquet and his wife did much of the grunt work together when they restored a 1765 home in Cumberland County.

An intellectual, Mr. Piquet enjoyed research but balked at using computers. So he would ask Barbara to look things up for him. One day, exasperated, she forced him to use her laptop, and he never gave it back. “He loved it,” she said.

After he retired in the early 1990s, the couple traveled throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. Barbara didn’t like airplanes much, but Mr. Piquet loved to fly. He often returned with local art and displayed it in their home. Haitian and outsider art (by untrained artists) were among his favorite pieces.

Mr. Piquet and wife Barbara visited every country in Europe.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Piquet and wife Barbara visited every country in Europe.

Hungary was one of their favorite destinations and the scene of one of their most memorable mishaps. Upon landing in Budapest, they unloaded their suitcases from the overhead bin and headed outside. As they waited at the curb, Mr. Piquet handed Barbara her suitcase. “That’s not mine,” she said.

“Everyone said it. He was a good person,” Barbara said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Piquet is survived by sons Vincent and Jan, two grandchildren, and a sister.

Gary Miles, gmiles@inquirer.com