Rita Higgins Wolf, of Sayre, died July 26, 2020 of natural causes at her daughter’s home.
Rita was born July 29, 1929 in Sayre, PA, to Dr. John and Eileen O’Donnell Higgins. She graduated from Epiphany School in 1942 and from Sayre High School in 1946. While in high school, she worked at Boyle’s Book Store and helped in her father’s medical office, often called upon to drive him on house calls. Rita attended and graduated from Seton Hill College (class of 1950) in Greensburg, PA, majoring in psychology. While in college, she spent several summers with her maternal grandmother in Washington, DC. While she was there, she attended a White House luncheon and several affairs at different embassies.
After college graduation, she spent a year working at Children’s Service Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. In 1951, she moved back to Sayre and on July 14, married Joseph Wolf. The two of them raised six children and resided on Center and Edward Streets and Stover’s Acres. Together they owned and operated Wolf Furniture Company in Sayre where she worked after the children were older. She was a bookkeeper and a buyer for lamps and accessories.
Rita was a member of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church and had been active as a Junior Catholic Daughter leader, Eucharistic Minister, Legion of Mary member, and RCIA instructor. Most recently she was a member of Epiphany Church in Sayre, PA. She also was a Girl Scout leader for many years and delivered Meals on Wheels.
Rita and Joe personified the true meaning of “lady and gentleman” and enjoyed forty-seven years together with Joe predeceasing her in 1998.
Surviving Rita are her daughters and sons-in-law: Ann Marie Wolf-Schatz, MD and Rudy Schatz of Conshohocken, PA; Terry and Dave Browning of Rome, PA; Christine and Mark Quandt of Schoharie, NY; Patricia and Neil Sealander of Bloomfield, NY; Maureen and Don Wright of Athens. Also surviving are her son and daughter-in-law: Joseph and Gwen Wolf of Sanford, NC. Twenty-eight grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren survive her as well as good friends Laura Smith and Ceil Schrader. Rita considered her husband and children her vocation. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren and it showed because she was a wonderful mother and grandmother. She especially loved babies and toddlers.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents and by her sister, Eileen Higgins McCarthy of Tinton Falls, NJ.
A Funeral Mass for the family will be held at the Church of the Epiphany in Sayre, PA on Thursday at 10:00 AM.
Memorials can be made to:
Birthright of Sayre
111 S Elmer Ave, Sayre, PA, 18840
Regional Foodbank of Northeast New York
965 Albany Shaker Rd, Latham, NY 12110
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