Kathleen Mary DeBrita, 74, of Westhampton died December 9, 2019. Born on February 7, 1945 to Edward and Arvilla Arthur, she was raised in New Hyde Park with her sister Nancy and brother Christopher. She graduated from St Mary’s High School in Manhasset and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from LeMoyne College and Fordham University respectively. Years later she earned a master’s in special education from Dowling College.
She and her husband, Phillip DeBrita, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1969 and started a life in Brooklyn and Queens, where they welcomed their first two children, Ellen and Joanna. In 1978 they relocated to Westhampton, a community Kathleen cherished, where they had 3 more children, Nicholas, Monica, and Joseph.
In addition to raising her family, Kathleen contributed her time and talents to the Immaculate Conception Church in Westhampton Beach, serving in various capacities for over 30 years. When her youngest started school, she began work as a teaching assistant at Eastern Suffolk BOCES in Westhampton Beach. Her patient nature was perfectly suited for the high-needs students she served and she enjoyed working with them for 15 years.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, Phillip DeBrita, siblings Nancy Arthur and Chris Arthur, children Ellen Knieriemen (David), Joanna Schoff (Chris), Nicholas DeBrita (Rebecca), Monica Van Essendelft (Jason), Joseph DeBrita (Yvette), and grandchildren Elizabeth, Avery, Ryan, Jordan, Hayden, Isaac, Lucas, and Mae.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org
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