Ramona Lynn (nee Cyrus) Grigsby was born March 17, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to parents Augustus Lemoyne Cyrus and Norine Alfaretta West. Ramona "Mona" died peacefully surrounded by many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Shaker Heights on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
Ramona grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Schenley High School. She attended and graduated from Mount Mercy College (nka Carlow College) with a degree in psychology. While at Mount Mercy, an all-women's Catholic College, Ramona entered the convent as a novitiate. Ramona converted to Catholicism as a teenager and remained a devout Catholic for the remainder of her life.
She met Charles William Cabell Grigsby, Sr. and married on December 30, 1967 at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They raised six children in Oberlin and attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Ramona was active at Sacred Heart with the Parish School of Religion (PSR), including being an educator and Principal at PSR for nearly two decades. She was also regularly involved at Sacred Heart as a lector, choir member and Eucharistic minister. Ramona was also actively involved in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for Black Catholic Ministry. She joined the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary and was elected as Grand Lady for three terms during her 20 year plus legacy.
Ramona was a third grade school teacher at Prospect School upon moving to Oberlin in 1968. She was a dedicated stay-at-home mother thereafter while raising her six children. Ramona also served as a substitute teacher at St. Mary Catholic Church in Elyria on many occasions as her children grew older.
Ramona returned to the workforce with Youth as Resources, a community-led group founded in 1994 for grant-making and youth leadership development. She was the Director of the Lorain County group and later transitioned her philanthropic and leadership skills to the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County, where she worked as the Youth Program Officer.
Ramona was the youngest of five children and was preceded in death by her father, Augustus "Gus" Cyrus; her mother, Norine Cyrus; oldest sister, Audre Norine Gaines and brother, William Jefferson.
She is survived by her six children, Susan (Michael) White, Kelly Grigsby Jones (Tony Jones), Michael (Mara) Grigsby, Jennifer Grigsby-Grier (Grant Grier), Danita Grigsby (John Dutton) and Charles Jr. (Reichele) Grigsby. She is survived by multiple grandchildren, Bruce Jackson, Derek Jackson, Nicolya Grigsby Williams, Alan Grigsby, Jarod (Lily) Dickson, Michaela Grigsby, Jaron Grigsby, Joshua Grigsby, Maleah Grigsby, Christopher White, Ilana White and Nathan White and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She is also survived by a brother, A. L. "Tucky" Cyrus of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; sister, Gabrielle Harrison of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and brother, Clifford (Ada) Cyrus of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.
Wake will be held at E. F. Boyd & Sons, 2165 E. 89th St., Cleveland on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 5 to 7 P.M. Family will receive friends for a final viewing at Sacred Heart Church, 410 W. Lorain St., Oberlin on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 10 A.M. followed by a funeral Mass at 11 A.M. Interment will be at Westwood Cemetery, 429 Morgan St., Oberlin, following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, Ramona supported several charities and donations would be appreciated: Knights of Peter Claver, Saint Peter Claver Foundation, 1825 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA 70116 (www.kofpc.org/donate.php); Community Foundation of Lorain County, Youth Fund, 9080 Leavitt Road, Elyria, OH 44035 (www.peoplewhocare.org); Angels Haven Horse Rescue, Evergreen Farm, 13297 Durkee Road, Grafton, OH 44044 (www.angelshavenhorserescue.com).