Diane M. Daffin

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Diane M. Daffin, 60, of Hermitage, passed away peacefully at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at her residence, with family and friends by her side.

Diane was born July 23, 1956, in Sharon, a daughter of Paul A. “Pete” and Jean Marie Costello Daffin.

She was a 1974 graduate of Sharon High School and attended Penn State University, Shenango Valley Campus.

Diane was president of Daffin’s Inc. and worked in the family business all her life. She never wanted or dreamed she would do anything else. The first Daffin’s store’s humble beginnings were in downtown Sharon, and in 1975, Daffin’s Candies moved to their current location. Diane especially loved working with her mother in the office. Jean Daffin was the quiet genius behind the desk, and Diane was eager to learn. Diane was still her father’s daughter and possessed Pete Daffin’s gregarious and infectious personality. The sense of community was something Diane embraced. She never turned down an opportunity to fill a board position or to chair a committee. She looked at every invitation as an opportunity to give back to this great community, a community that has given so much to her.

Diane had been involved in the Mercer County Jaycees and March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon and auction. She had been the chairperson for the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball, as well as the annual Cor Vitae sponsor. She had also sponsored and participated in the annual Heart Walk. Diane spearheaded the Daffin’s Easter Egg Hunt held annually the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Daffin’s Candies and Diane personally donate thousands of dollars worth of chocolate, candy and gifts to this event. Diane was instrumental in implementing a scholarship fund in memory of her father and mother. When the love of her life died unexpectedly, Diane immediately turned the tragedy into a positive by creating the Shamrock Scramble Golf Outing. Over the past 13 years, she has raised tens of thousands of dollars for children with special needs and scholarships at Penn State for veterans. Some recipients are Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Hope Center for Arts and Technology, The Rotary Playground Project, Akron Children’s Hospital, Beds for Little Heads, ALS Association, Shriners Hospital for Children, Rich Center for Autism, West Hill Ministry, Community Food Warehouse and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Diane, along with her parents, received the William Knecht Tourism Award and the 2006 Chamber of Commerce Phoenix Award. Most recently, Diane was awarded Sharon Rotary’s John Fabian Award and became a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. She received the Orange and Silver Philanthropy Award, as well as becoming the Orange and Silver’s first Hall of Fame inductee.

Diane will not only be missed by her family and friends, she has left an empty place in the heart of her best friend, Murphy.

Surviving are cousins, Bernie Sigler and his wife, Monica, of Sharpsville; Sandy Hoover of Sharon; Joseph Sigler and his companion, Sylvia Hatterer, of Hermitage; Gary Sigler of Hermitage; Pete Lewnes and his wife, Linda, of Brookfield; Georgia Picciotto and her husband, Francis, of Shenango Township; Jim Lewness and his wife, Sharon, of Columbus; Linda Harpster of Arizona; and Robert Harpster and his wife, Nancy, of Mercer; and two uncles, Joe Costello of Sharpsville, and Bernie Sigler and his wife, Dorothy, of Hermitage. Diane was preceded in death by her parents; four aunts, Mary Alice Sigler, Kathryn Harpster, Dorothy Costello and Luella Daffin; an uncle, Harry Costello; a longtime companion, Mike Murphy; and her beloved dog, Murph.

A funeral service will be 12:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, at J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon, with the Rev. Joseph Campbell officiating. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Hermitage. Calling hours will be 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, at the funeral home.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Daffin Family Foundation, c / o Community Foundation of Western Pa. and Eastern Ohio, 7 W. State St., Sharon, PA 16146.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.

(special notice)