Ms. Debra J. Ragosta, (formerly, Debra Hyder), 66, died peacefully in Whitman, Massachusetts, with her daughter by her side on Sunday, April 4, 2021 after a long battle with Breast Cancer.
Deb is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Hyder-McMorrow, son-in-law, Brandon McMorrow, Sr., her grandchildren, Brandon McMorrow, Jr. and Natalie McMorrow, all of Whitman, MA. Additionally, she is survived by one aunt, Mrs. Connie DeSantis from Sewell, NJ. And one step-uncle, James Grisi and his wife Sunday of New Mexico. Deb leaves behind loving cousins, from the Czecuga, Collins, Franceschini, Hiner, DeSantis and Ragosta families- all from NJ. She leaves behind a step brother, Ralph Grisi Jr. from Denville, NJ, her Step-Father’s wife, Janice Grisi from Bushkill, PA and cousins, Bruce and Eileen Groncki, of Franklin, Massachusetts. Deb is also survived by her half-sister, Dawn Buckley and her children from Scranton, PA. In addition to friends, she leaves behind, Deb is survived by her former husband, Joseph Hyder Jr. of Blackstone, MA.
Debra Jean Ragosta was born July 29th, 1954 in Jersey City, NJ to the late Germaine Ragosta Grisi (Menner) and John Ragosta. She was also raised by step-father; the late Ralph Grisi Sr. Deb graduated from Parsippany Hills High School in 1972 and attended Grahm Junior College where she met her former husband, Joe. They married in 1974, Elizabeth was born in 1984. In 1990, Deb graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts as an Ada Comstock scholar. Later that year, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Deb used her education, her cancer battle and her faith in her professional life at the FDIC, The American Cancer Society, Hopedale’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and Milford Regional Medical Center. She made her life an open book, writing a blog for The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, by being featured in articles outlining her battle with cancer and sponsoring Massachusetts’ Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, which is October 13.
A large part of Deb’s life was managing illness, yet it didn’t define her. Deb’s legacy was as a devout Catholic, a friend, a mother, a Nonni and as those close to her joke “one of the strongest broads they knew.”
Calling hours will be held on Friday, April 16th from 4-7 P.M. at Buma-Sargeant Funeral Home, 42 Congress Street, Milford, MA. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 17th at 10:00 A.M.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Deb’s name may be made to: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or www.dana-farber.org/gift.