Debbie Craparo, wife of Dan Craparo, beloved mom of sons Michael and Dan, mother-in-law of Caitlin and Rebecca, and grandmother of Sadie, Willow, Mia, Jack and Evelyn.
A lifelong resident of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Debbie attended Monmouth College, spent her summers in Long Beach Island, and raised her family in Holmdel where she later worked in the high school after her two sons graduated and moved on to college.
Debbie was an avid tennis player, and it’s on the tennis court where she met some of her dearest friends. She loved reading books on the beach and taking long walks in Tatum Park with her beloved dog, Checkers.
She was funny. She was supportive. And she was also resourceful. One morning, after she had just been married, she woke up with her husband Dan following a late night celebrating with friends at a Christmas party. There was nothing in the house to eat but eggs, bread, leftover ham, and tater tots. So she did what any reasonable person would do. She threw it all in a pan, drenched it with milk and butter, added some mustard, and cooked it in the oven. The improvised meal came to be known as “the slop” and became a Christmas morning family tradition that Debbie passed on to her two daughter-in-laws.
We grow up thinking that our parents are super heroes who have answers for all of life’s most confusing questions. When her sons had children of their own, Debbie could finally let them in on the big secret…nobody has any idea what they are doing, we are all just making it up as we go along. But that’s okay when you have a mom like Debbie to learn from. It’s easy. You love your children unconditionally and give them the support they need to grow into the best versions of themselves.
While she left us too soon, we are thankful for the time we had. She danced at both of her boys’ weddings and this Christmas—her last Christmas—was her first with all five of her beautiful grandchildren.
Sadie, Willow, Mia, Jack and Evelyn: Every time you get to lick the cookie dough batter out of a bowl, we want you to think of Grammy. Every time you sneak up behind one of your cousins and shout boo, we want you to laugh and think of Grammy. And every time we mess up as parents, don’t blame us…Grammy made us this way.