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 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, Pennsylvania, majoring in psychology. While in college, she spent several summers with her maternal grandmother in Washington, D.C. 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, Pennsylvania. 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, Pennsylvania. 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 47 years together with Joe predeceasing her in 1998.

Surviving Rita are her daughters and sons-in-law, Ann Marie Wolf-Schatz, Maryland, and Rudy Schatz of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; Terry and Dave Browning of Rome, Pennsylvania; Christine and Mark Quandt of Schoharie, New York; Patricia and Neil Sealander of Bloomfield, New York; Maureen and Don Wright of Athens. Also surviving are her son and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Gwen Wolf of Sanford, North Carolina. Twenty-eight grandchildren and 18 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, New Jersey.

Due to the Covid pandemic, the funeral mass will be private, held at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Church of the Epiphany in Sayre, Pennsylvania.

Memorials can be made to Birthright of Sayre, Pennsylvania, or the Regional Foodbank of Northeast New York, 965 Albany Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Share condolences with the family at www.Miller1889.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.