Truck driver and former Bike Stop bartender Harley “Daniel” Norvilla died Oct. 22 of a heart attack. He was 51.
Norvilla was born in Woodbury, N.J., on Aug. 25, 1962, and grew up in Gibbstown, N.J., where he most recently resided. He worked as a truck driver for Royal Pallet for 14 years and also served as a bartender for The Bike Stop until a few years ago. He was often seen bartending at The Pit Stop, in The Bike Stop’s lower level. Norvilla’s friends remembered him as an attentive and friendly bartender who always made sure his guests felt comfortable and welcomed at The Bike Stop. Along with bartending, Norvilla and his then-partner, Rick Smith, also owned Rick’s Rusty Rudder, a straight biker bar in North-Central Pennsylvania. The two ran the bar for eight years, and friends said the clientele accepted Norvilla and his partner as equals. Smith met Norvilla in 2001 at The Bike Stop and said he thought Norvilla was handsome and friendly. The pair had been together for 10 years. Norvilla also worked as a DJ for clubs all over the tri-state region. He frequented The Woods Campground and was a brother of the Philadelphians M.C., whom he would often volunteer to represent at Pride and OutFest events. Norvilla was also a bike enthusiast, often taking his Harley out for rides, and also enjoyed spending time with his dog, Rocco. Norvilla was known for his humor, and friends remember him saying outlandish and hilarious catchphrases, which often got those around him laughing. Chumley Singer, who runs the BearCruises: The Original Bear Cruise, met Norvilla in 2005 at the cruise when he and his then-partner came to the event. Singer said when he first encountered Norvilla, he thought he seemed like a “lovable goofball” and it turned out that Singer’s impression was correct. “Harley was one of those characters. He was larger than life and almost childlike. He had a great sense of humor and was loud and had an unforgettable laugh,” Singer said. Smith agreed that Norvilla would be remembered for his good nature. Despite his seemingly imposing appearance, Singer noted, Norvilla had a heart of gold and would take every opportunity to help a neighbor or even a stranger. “He was a big sort of strapping, biker-looking dude, however he was a real child. He was just one of those guys that would do anything for anyone and didn’t care if it made him look like a fool,” he said. “He owned his parents’ house and he didn’t mind if anyone showed up. Everyone in his neighborhood called him the mayor because he was someone that would help out others and do yardwork or help with repairs.” Norvilla is survived by brothers William Boyizigies of Clayton, N.J., and Leonard Norvilla Jr. of Paulsboro, N.J.; his sisters, Andrea Sweetting of North Carolina and Deborah Bratton of Gibbstown; niece Hope Del Grippo of Gibbstown and several other nieces and nephews. A funeral service was held Oct. 25, and Norvilla was buried at Eglington Cemetery in Clarksboro, N.J. Memorial contributions can be made to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter, 1200 N. Delsea Drive, Clayton, N.J. 08312. An online tribute is maintained at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.