Resident of San Leandro
Debbie DeFreitas passed away on August 3, 2013, at Resurrection Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, after a long-fought battle with breast cancer
Debbie was born in Alameda, California on November 26, 1957, to Lowell and Lorraine Gearhart. She grew up in the Bay Area and met her husband, Frank DeFreitas, through her work at Bank of America in San Leandro. On July 29, 2013, the couple happily celebrated 35 years of marriage with their two sons, Michael DeFreitas and Brian DeFreitas, and with other family members and friends during a summer vacation in S. Iona, Italy. Debbie is the beloved sister of Michael Gearhart, loving sister and sister-in-law of Denise & Dan Pagan and beloved sister-in-law of Mary & Joe Santos, Maria & Luigi Pietrantoni, Joseph & Natalina DeFreitas, Mary & Frank Martins, and Palmira & Jim Palmer. She is the adored niece of numerous aunts and uncles throughout the United States. She will be greatly missed by her thirteen nieces and nephews and her nine great-nieces and great-nephews, all of whom she influenced immeasurably with her joy for life and optimism.
Most recently, Debbie was happy to work in the offices of Castro Valley Adult and Career Education, where she was surrounded by many dear friends. Debbie truly enjoyed life and all it had to offer, but she especially loved supporting the various sporting teams of the University of California, Berkeley. She attended as many Cal football, rugby, volleyball, and other games as she could, proudly wearing blue and gold.
Most of all Debbie loved being close to God, and she was actively involved at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, where she volunteered as a Eucharistic minister, taught Confirmation and other Youth Ministry classes, aided in the RCIA program, and otherwise gave tirelessly of her time and energy. She also volunteered frequently at homeless shelters and other programs to aide the less fortunate. Debbie was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and while she fought the disease strongly, she never let the fight stop her from living and giving so freely of herself to make others happy.
Visitation will take place on Friday, August 9th at Our Lady of Grace, 3433 Somerset Ave, Castro Valley from 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Grace on Saturday, August 10 at 10:00 a.m. Committal to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to organizations that support breast cancer research.
Holy Angels Funeral & Cremation Center FD1456 510-537-6600