Rita B. (Burlas) Daugherty, 99, of Greensburg, died Friday, July 19, 2019, in Weatherwood Manor. She was born May 7, 1920, in Marguerite, a daughter of the late John A. and Bertha E. Nessler Burlas. Rita grew up in the Latrobe area, and as a teenager assisted her father, a coal mine supervisor, with his books. Following her father's death, she assisted her mother in raising her six younger brothers. Rita graduated from Seton Hill College, with a degree in home economics, following which she worked at Westinghouse Electric, traveling as an office machine trainer prior to her marriage. She had five children, after which she obtained her teaching degree and went on to fulfill her passion as a school teacher, beginning at Forbes Road Elementary School and then at Mountain View Elementary School until her retirement in 1985. Rita was a lifetime member of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, her second home, where she volunteered for many years and sang in the Resurrection choir. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, John E. Daugherty; a sister, Marie Louise Fajt; and six brothers, (infant) John L. Burlas, Regis E. Burlas, Donald J. Burlas, Father Anthony Burlas, OSB, Philip M. Burlas and Carl D. Burlas; her daughter-in-law, Denise E. Daugherty, her granddaughter, Beth Ann Knechtel; and her great-grandson, Elijah D. Douglas. She is survived by five children, J. Michael Daugherty and wife, Stephanie, of Atlanta, Ga., Kathleen Knechtel and husband, Robert, of State College, Pa., James A. Daugherty, of Beaver, Elizabeth Cepullio and husband, Michael, of Greensburg, Erin Otten and husband, Ted, of Bluffton, S.C.; nine grandchildren, Megan (Devon), Patrick (Chris), Kristy (Erick), Jennifer (Brent), Bill (Julie), Tim, Kathy, Jessica (Forrest) and Lilli; two stepgranddaughters, Nicole (Terry) and Tara; 10 great-grandchildren; one brother, Thomas C. Burlas and wife, Pat, of Greensburg; one sister-in-law, Charlotte Burlas of Frederick, MD; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Rita from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, in the CLEMENT L. PANTALONE FUNERAL HOME INC., 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, PA 15601, 724-837-0020 . Parting prayers will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday July 24, 2019, in the funeral home, followed at 9:30 a.m. by a funeral Mass to be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral with the Very Rev. Earl Henry, OSB, celebrating. Interment will follow in St. Vincent Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry BSC, 300 N. Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601. Rita's family has entrusted her care to the Pantalone Funeral Home, Inc., Greensburg. To share your memories and photos, offer your condolences, or for directions, please visit us at www.pantalone.com, Natale N. Pantalone, supervisor.