LESTER HONEY was born in Camden  on March 31, 1924 to Perry and Anna Honey. His family had come to Camden from Caroline County, Maryland not long after the 1920 Census was enumerated. The family was living at 745 Sycamore Street when the 1924 City Directory was compiled. By 1927 they had moved across the street to 760 Sycamore Street, and by 1929 to 627 Chestnut Street, where they remained for over 10 years. At that time the family lived a few doors away from Camden's Chief of Police, Lewis H. Stehr Jr., at 621 ChestnutStreet, and junk dealer Samuel Yaffa at 619 Chestnut Street

Lester Honey was one of at least 10 children, the older being Ida, Fred, Harvey, Mary, Perry, Alice, Grace, and Albert. The other child, as of the April 1930 Census, was younger sister Florence. An adopted son, Roy, also lived with the Honey family. The Honey family was still living at 627 Chestnut Street when the 1940 City Directory was compiled, however father Perry Honey had passed away by this time. The Honeys were still at that address as late as 1947. 

Lester Honey attended Camden public schools and graduated from Camden High School in June of 1943, where was on the varsity basketball team during his junior and senior years. His yearbook gives an address of 916 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, this however is contradicted by City Directories. Four members of this class gave their lives while serving in the armed forces during the war, Andrew Blair Jakway, Richard Lightowler, Charles A.B. Smith, and Augustus D. Whitney III. Another, Lamar Spewak, under the name Jack Lamar was the public address announcer at the Garden State Park racetrack and other area tracks over the course of several decades.

Lester Honey was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on December 30, 1950 and reported for duty the following day at Engine Company 1. On June 16, 1951 he was transferred to Engine Company 8, 619 Kaighn Avenue. While serving with Engine 8, Lester Honey was cited twice for extraordinary service, the first time on July 31, 1959 and again on May 28, 1962. Not long after joining Engine Company 8, Lester Honey moved to 1107 Van Hook Street.  

On February 25, 1966 Lester Honey was sent to Engine Company 10 on Morgan Boulevard in Fairview. His mother, Anna Honey, died in November of that year. On October 21, 1968 Lester Honey was sent to Ladder Company 2 at 619 Kaighn Avenue. He returned to Engine Company 10 on January 1, 1969 where he remained until retiring from the Fire Department on May 1, 1973 on a disability pension. He passed away on April 7, 1974, survived by his wife, Nancy. His family was still at 1107 Van Hook Street as late as 1993.

Camden Courier-Post - August 22, 1936

Winners In Local Playground Olympics
250 Children Vie for Ribbons At Dudley Grange Track Meet
WPA Playground Instructors Supervise Competition of 'Future Olympic Stars'; Steve Lalinski Carries Off Highest Honors with Three Victories

Camden High Purple & Gold Yearbook - 1943
Click on Image to Enlarge


1ST ROW: Honey, Czyzewicz, Mussa, Templeton, Wenof, Carter.

2ND ROW: Al Bass, coach, Budesa, Kauffman Olesiewicz, Nay, Wing, Orzechowski, manager.

Junior Varsity

1ST ROW: Wirshack, manager, Jabalawski, Kauffman, Budesa, Poore, Brooks.

2ND ROW: Morrison, manager, Barbato, Migliaccio, Katsoff, Davis, Hayes, Slingluff, manager.


The story of the 1942-1943 basketball season at Camden High is the story of a development­ a development from the promising, but inexperienced, group of boys reporting for practice last November to the city champs of March.

Of the bays practicing at the start of the season, none had ever been a varsity starter, and Pete Mussa was the only lad who had ever played any varsity games at all. Starting off slowly, always feeling for a starting combination that would click, our team played some very good and some very poor basketball.

Then, about mid-season, things began to happen. The J. V.'s graduated Carter, Olesiewicz, Budessa and Kauffman to the varsity; Les Honey came back; and Camden went an to finish the season in great style. Two of our most outstanding victories were scored over the 1943 State finalists, Trenton and Asbury Park. Trenton went down by the score of 40-39, when Pete Mussa chalked up 19 points. Asbury Park fell by the convincing score of 35-29. Asbury has won the State Championship for the past three years.

Playing heads-up ball, the Camden courtmen staved off the strongest bid Catholic has ever made for the city crown. After dropping a game to Catholic, Camden toppled the confident Irish five in the second game of the city series. The resulting tie had to be broken in a playoff game. Both clubs were at a fever pitch for this game, and the last quarter found the score very close, Camden having relinquished an early lead. With three minutes left in the contest, the Catholic sharpshooter, Adams, swished a sensational basket that put the green and white out in front by one big point. At this point they started to freeze the ball. This strategy proved alarmingly successful. The minutes ticked away with the Irish cherishing their one-point lead. Suddenly, Syd Wenof batted the ball from the hands of Catholic's astonished Captain Scott and, leaving the green team far behind, he dribbled the length of the court and ladled in the winning double-decker. It was the closest game ever played in the city series and left rooters, both Catholic and Camden, limp but happy.

The victorious Purple and Gold basketeers went on to win from Collingswood and Wilson, only to lose to Trenton in the State Tournament. Coach Bass's dribblers had previously been eliminated from the County Tournament by the revengeful Collingswood team.

"Chick" Czyzewicz has been the big point-maker; Captain Mussa has played brilliant ball, as was shown by his 19-point splurge at Trenton; Bert Templeton's last-period arrival has meant the difference between victory and defeat; Syd Wenof's star defensive work has been topped off with points in the clutch; Honey's backboard play has been outstanding; high-jumping Sylvester Wing and smooth-passing Paul Nay added much to the team's victories; and the very good ball played by Carter and "Ossie" this year give promise of a great team next year.

As usual, our J. V.'s enjoyed an extremely successful season, under Coach Alfano. All credit goes to city champs "Winks" Kauffman, Charley Brooks, Sam Budessa, Walt Poore, Danny Davis, Charley Butler, Tony Migliaccio, Harold Katsoff, Joe Barbato, Grey Hayes.