Debra Jo Camorata
Debra Jo Camorata (nee Calascione), 67, died on December 16, 2020.
Born on March 21, 1953 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., she spent most of her life in Hammonton, relocating for a time to Little Rock, Ark. to be closer to her daughter, Lauren Thompson, and three grandsons (Asher, 13, Graham, 11, and Adam, 5).
The oldest of six children, she maintained strong bonds with her two sisters and three brothers, serving as a caretaker and matriarch. Her sense of family was not limited to blood; she had a great love for her friends and her brothers and sisters in Christ at the Pitman Road Church of Christ, where she worshipped for many years. She was known as “Aunt Debbie” to many of the families in her congregation, loved dearly as if she was one of their own, because, in fact, she was. A 1971 graduate of Hammonton High School, Debbie worked for over 25 years at Hammonton Town Hall, serving as a clerk and court administrator, a role well-suited to her personal and professional skill sets. Among family, she was affectionately known as “The Warden” or “The Principal,” using her passion for law and order to ensure that all the children were well-behaved. Her subsequent “talks” came from a place of love, though, and she often balanced it out with a sense of humor and playfulness. She was an excellent cook, running a small catering business for a time. She frequently showed her care for others in this way, whether it was at church potlucks, care group meetings or family gatherings. She was especially famous for her raspberry truffle dessert. Debbie didn’t shy away from sharing her opinions and thoughts. Proudly embracing the mantra “because I can,” she loved her independence, but also her connection to others. She celebrated the freedom to do her own thing, but this never stopped her from wanting to help, offer a listening ear, or give advice to those who needed it.
Her faith in God, dedication to family, and, at times, stubbornness served her well throughout most of her life: as a single mother, as a breast cancer survivor and during her battle with COVID-19.
She is predeceased by her parents, Mary Jane and Stephen Calascione.
In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by her five siblings, Stephanie Ness (David) of Hammonton, Lorie Nilson (Bruce) of Sicklerville, Albert Calascione (Linda) of Blue Anchor, Steve Calascione (Kelly) of Atco and Christopher Calascione (Dawn) of Hammonton, along with many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends attended her service on December 22, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Cemetery, 500 White Horse Pike in Hammonton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pitman Road Church of Christ, 500 Pitman Road, Sewell, NJ 08080.
Arrangements made by the Carnesale Funeral Home.