Obituary of Richard J. Ragula
Richard J. Ragula, 72 of Manalapan, NJ, passed away at home on Thursday, March 23, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with progressive heart and lung disease. He was born and raised in South Amboy to Frances M. Ragula (nee Grembowicz) and John T. Ragula. Rick then moved to Manalapan in 1982 where he resided for over 40 years.
Rick has an impressive list of accomplishments. He attended St. Mary’s High School where he received the Middlesex County Scholar Athlete. Rick earned a scholarship and played Division I basketball at Illinois Tech. He then transferred to the University of Illinois Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. Rick began his career as a Biochemist in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries and rose to VP of Quality/Regulatory Clinical and General Management. He held a Patent in the Development of Medical Delivery Systems. While working full time, Rick earned an MBA from Rutgers University and an MS from NJIT. He was a member of the Delta TAU Delta, Alpha Epsilon Lambda Graduate Honor Society, and a Mensa member.
Rick had many personal interests, such as studying Shokei Karate where he received his Black Belt in Portugal while representing the USA. He loved photography, listening to all genres of music, golfing, playing guitar, watching sports and documentaries. Rick was extremely involved with his children and grandchildren, mentoring them in education and sports. He enjoyed getting together with family and friends, especially for a beach vacation. Rick looked forward to outings to the park with his dogs, Stoney, Cyber, Moose and Molly.
Rick was a loving husband, stepfather, brother, and Pop. He will also be remembered for his generosity to numerous charities.
Rick was predeceased by his wife, Michelle L. Ragula (nee Friedman); and brothers- in- law, Laurence Friedman, Dennis Chinelli, and Dr. Barry Grabelle.
He is survived by his loving children, Aaron Kanner and Saundra Kanner Sparks; sister, Ruth T. and her husband, Gordon J. Balbach; grandchildren, Elyse Kanner and Sean Sparks; sisters-in-law, Toby Grabelle, Diane Friedman, Janet Chinelli and her husband Dr. Frederick Harris; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to VNA Hospice and private aide, Boyd Osei, and family friend, Bobby Casinelli, for their exceptional care these last three months.
A memorial gathering will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home,100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route524), Freehold Township on Saturday, June 3, 2023 starting at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM with the memorial service beginning at 11:00 AM. For those that cannot attend in person, the family invites you to participate via Webcast, HERE. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Rick’s name may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, P.O Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306, American Heart Association, One Union Street #301, Robbinsville, NJ 08691, or American Lung Association, 1600 Route 22 East, Union, NJ 07083. For information, directions, or to leave condolence messages to the family, please visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com