Cover photo for Ralph B. D'Agostino, Sr.'s Obituary
Ralph B. D'Agostino, Sr. Profile Photo

Ralph B. D'Agostino, Sr.

August 16, 1940 — September 27, 2023

Silas Creek Chapel

Ralph B. D'Agostino, Sr.


Ralph B. D’Agostino Sr. Ph.D., 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Winston-Salem, NC on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. He was born on August 16, 1940, in Somerville, MA. Beloved husband of LeiLanie (Carta) D’Agostino. Loving father of LeiLanie and Ralph Jr. and his wife Carey of Winston Salem NC. He was the beloved son of the late Benedetto and Carmela (Piemonte) D’Agostino. Cherished grandfather of Lucy (Patrick) McGowan, Serena (William IV) Readhead, Sophia (Ryan) Walsh, Ralph Arel (Megan) D’Agostino, Theresa D’Agostino and Chiara D’Agostino. Adoring great-grandfather of Marielle and Laura-Maeve McGowan, William V and Renata Readhead, and Rose Carmela D’Agostino. Dear brother of the late Concetta Piccione and her late husband Matthew, the late Anne Massaro and her husband Anthony, the late William D’Agostino and his wife Barbara, the late Mary Gill and her late husband Kenneth, Frances Ducharme and her late husband Edward, Lucille Murray and her husband Paul, and the late Ralphie D’Agostino. Dearest brother-in-law of Cece Carta. Loving uncle of numerous nieces and nephews. 

Ralph began his career as a lecturer of mathematics at Boston University in 1964, completed his Ph.D. in statistics at Harvard University in 1968, and ascended through the ranks to become a professor of mathematics and statistics in 1976. During his 58 years at Boston University, he served as an associate dean of the graduate school in the 1970s and was twice the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1986 to 1991 and 2006-2011. He also served as the co-director of the Department of Biostatistics’ MA/PhD program for over 30 years. 

Ralph served as the director of data analysis and statistics of the Framingham Heart Study from 1985-2015. He was instrumental in developing several risk prediction models including a global cardiovascular disease risk function, a coronary heart disease risk assessment function, an instrument for predicting acute ischemic heart disease, and a stroke health risk appraisal function. Ralph served as a Ph.D. advisor to numerous students and was awarded the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1985. He served as a member of several advisory panels for the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was awarded Special Citations from the FDA Commissioner in 1981 and 1995 and the Advisory Committee Service Award in 2008. He also served as the editor of the journal Statistics in Medicine from 1995-2017 as well as a statistical consultant to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine from 2007-2021. During his career he had well over 700 publications that had more than 300,000 citations, making him among the top 1% of cited researchers in clinical medicine. He was a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American Statistical Association. 

Beyond his academic career, Ralph loved the opera, and for many years was a Patron of the Metropolitan Opera in New York where he and his wife LeiLanie would attend regularly. He enjoyed taking walks, reading poetry, gardening, and weightlifting as well. He had many adventures traveling the world with his wife as he was invited to many exotic and interesting locations as a lecturer or consultant. He also had a strong devotion to his Catholic faith and was an avid reader of apologetic books by the doctors of the church. 

Visiting hours will be held at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel, 3315 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 on Thursday, October 5, 2023 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 335 Springdale Ave. Winston-Salem, NC 27104 on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 11:00 am, with The Very Reverend Christopher M. Gober officiating. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend the services. Interment will immediately follow the funeral Mass at Westlawn Gardens of Memory, 6135 Ridgecrest Point, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a gift in Ralph’s memory to the Ralph B. D’Agostino Endowed Fellowship in Mathematics and Statistics Fund at Boston University or to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Winston-Salem, NC.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph B. D'Agostino, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, October 5, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Silas Creek Chapel - Hayworth-Miller Funeral Homes & Crematory

3315 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Leo The Great Catholic Church

335 Springdale Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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