Wanda M. Daghir, 97, of S. St. Marys Street, St. Marys, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, December 19, 2022, with her family by her side.
She was born on April 21, 1925 in Cherry Ridge, PA, a daughter of the late Clarence J. Rickard, Sr. and Veronica "Vera" Mongovan Rickard.
On January 27, 1951, at Honesdale, PA, she married the late George L. Daghir, Esq., who preceded her in death on October 3, 2019. Together they shared more than 68 years of marriage.
Wanda Marie Rickard Daghir...a beloved and devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and friend...
Our mom...she loved us, fed us, entertained us, disciplined us, challenged us, grew old with us. She was and continues to be our role model for being a partner to our spouse, a parent to our children, and living our lives for Jesus.
Eight of us, can you imagine? Many of you can because that's what post-WWII America taught our parents. She managed the household during lean years and fat and attended just about every in-school and after-school event for each of us. At the end of the day, you would catch mom either reading her book club novel or watching a favorite T.V. show like Masterpiece Theater. Her days were full, and I believe she would say her life was good.
A love in mom's life was Penn State. Somehow the dairy farm girl from Honesdale, PA found her way to Nittany Valley in 1944. Over the course of the next few years she excelled in the physical education program and life in Happy Valley. She carried the banner for her graduating class, won a national rifle team championship, played softball and field hockey, and lived life large with the other women in her program and Co-op where she lived. Her summers were spent as a counselor at a camp in the Adirondacks near her home and, during the war, she worked in a manufacturing facility -- the only woman to operate the heavy lathe machine and other equipment. She said the pay was too good to pass up. Despite her fear of heights, she logged nearly enough flying hours to attain her pilot's license but was cut short due to gas shortages during WWII. While at Penn State, mom met and established friendships that really did last a lifetime. Parky, Weezie, Dinny, Babs, and our "Rick." Every year they met up for a reunion and picked up where they left off the year before. Catching up but also remembering - and there was always laughter, raucous laughter. In the months between, a round-robin letter made its way across the country and back filled with the varied updates and writing styles of these amazing women.
As luck or fate would have it, my mom was teaching at old St. Marys High School on South St. Marys Street and directing the senior class play. My dad was home on leave from the army and attended the production and post-production party. Thank goodness and the rest is history. While dad persued his law degree in Philadelphia, mom worked to support him. Before dad passed, we took an ATV ride down at our camp in Spring Run. He stopped halfway up on Burke Hill Road and gazed out over the vastness. Without looking at me, he told me how lucky he was to have found our mother to share his life, and a woman who loved Spring Run as much as he did.
Through her actions, mom also taught us the importance of friendships and giving back to your community. She volunteered for many years at the Hospital Auxiliary's Resale Shop marking items deemed antiques with her dear friend Mary Jo Gallagher. For years she edited and judged the poetry contest for the Catholic Daughters of America working at the kitchen table into the late hours of the night. She served on the board of Dickinson Mental Health for twenty-one years advocating for all people with disabilities in our surrounding community. She volunteered at the Food Bank. And then there was book club. The quirkiest, most unconventional gathering of bibliophiles I have ever had the honor of joining. Despite mom's busy life, she always found time to read the book, notate comments, and attend the late night club meeting at Dick Dornisch's house - every three weeks - for over fifty years. Her friendships also extended throughout our neighborhood - Cochrans, Gregorys, Pontzers, Baumgratz', Simbecks, McDonoughs, Dixons, Mins, Daniels, DeFrains, Gergs, Kneidels, Hasselmans - a lifetime of neighbors and friends. She also loved her summers, swimming and basking in the sun at the Country Club with her dear friend Jeanne Quinn and our annual trips to Sandbridge Beach, VA with her dear friend Dorothy Goochee's family. So many stories wrapped up in her life. Mom's endurance and stamina impressed us all. Thirty-three years ago this week she was struck down by Guillain-Barre' syndrome and air-lifted to Geisinger Medical Center. The road to recovery was long and painful...but she endured. Even up to the end, when all signs said it's ok, it's ok to go now, she hung on. Pushing through one more hour, one more day. It's time to rest now mama...
Wanda is survived by eight children; Mary K. Daghir and her husband Jerry Parnes of Collegeville, PA; George N. "Jim" Daghir of St. Marys; Ann M. Hawkins and her husband Dan of Brockway; Jean E. Stillman and her husband Bill of Rock Hill, SC; Joseph C. Daghir and his wife Roben of St. Marys; Andrew Daghir and his wife Lisa of St. Marys; Rachel Ringler and her husband Rodney of Clover, SC; and Elizabeth A. Daghir of St. Marys. She is also survived by sixteen grandchildren; Seth (Krista) Parnes, John (Michelle) Hawkins, Dr. Zoe Sherrieb (Evan), Dr. Samuel Hawkins, Will (Joelle) Stillman, Olivia (Matt) McMillan, Seminarian Luke Daghir, Fr. Ben Daghir, Nick Daghir, Emma (Tony) Leithner, Drew Daghir, Owen Daghir, Matt Ringler, Amanda Ringler, Caroline Ringler, and David Ringler and by one great-grandson; M.J. McMillan. She is also survived by a brother; Clarence "Juney" Rickard, Jr. of Cherry Ridge, PA and Lurana "Rana" (Tom) Gitch of Whitehall, PA as well as by numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother; Gerald Rickard, a sister; Elizabeth Racht, and by a brother in infancy; Bernard Rickard.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Wanda M. Daghir will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at 12:00 PM at St. Marys Church, 315 Church Street, St. Marys, PA 15857 with her grandsons, Fr. Ben Daghir (Celebrant) and Seminarian Luke Daghir.
Burial will follow in the St. Marys Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the Lynch-Green Funeral Home on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Adult Habilitation Center in Ridgway, Oak Manor in St. Marys, or to a favorite charity.
Lynch-Green Funeral Home, 151 N. Michael Street, St. Marys, PA 15857 is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be offered to the family at www.lynchgreenfuneralhome.com