Mary S. Daigle (born Mary S. Powell) of Mesquite, Nevada, age 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 5,2012, in her own home with her family by her side. Mary was born in West Plains, Missouri, on September 28, 1926, to Jim and Edna Powell. She was the fourth of five children – three brothers and one sister. Mary grew up in West Plains, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Springfield, Missouri, graduating from Central High School in Springfield.
Mary graduated from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. She then moved to Denver, Colorado where she met her future husband Fernand (Fred) A. Daigle at Central Christian Church. The two were married in Springfield, Missouri in 1953. Mary and Fred lived in many places including: Manila in the Philippines; Springfield, Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia area; and, Ketchikan, Alaska, where their three children, Gary, Mark, and Lynn were born. Though Mary worked in teaching as well as in social services, the job in which she felt the most fulfillment and sense of mission was social work, specifically child protection and advocacy, and foster care. Mary supervised teams of child abuse and neglect investigators in Springfield, Missouri and Lawrenceville, Georgia, and later worked in foster care in Lawrenceville. Her child advocacy work led her to membership on the Georgia Regional Children’s Task Force and involvement in the founding of the Atlanta Task Force. In 1999 she was presented with an award established and named for her by Southern Christian Services and the National Benevolent Association, The Mary Daigle for the Love of Children Award, in recognition of her “pioneering achievements on behalf of vulnerable and at-risk children”.
Mary retired to Mesquite, Nevada, in 2000 and found it to be a warm, welcoming and vibrant community where she felt she truly belonged. Mary’s community service work continued in Mesquite where she was active in the Mesquite United Methodist Church, the Exchange Club, PEO, the League of Women Voters, Mesquite Democrats, and many types of volunteer work. In particular, Mary continued her support and advocacy for children and families through her very active role as a board member, parenting trainer, tutor, and always ardent supporter of the many programs of Virgin Valley Family Services.
Throughout her life Mary has had a love of poetry and art, and had a great appreciation for music. She wrote many poems and has always painted and sketched, producing works in oil, watercolor, and charcoal.
Mary is survived by her brother Robert (Bob) Powell and his wife Barbara of Snellville, Georgia, and her children and their spouses Gary and Sorn Daigle of Mesquite, Mark and Jennifer Daigle of Durango, Colorado, and Lynn and Kole Swanser of Cary, North Carolina. She was also the proud grandmother of Austin, Melissa, Dane, and Gabe.
A celebration of Mary’s life will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 13, at the Mesquite United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Mary Daigle For the Love of Children Foundation at 1038 Mohave Drive, Mesquite, NV 89027. A second service will take place at a later date at Shiloh Christian Church in Snellville, Georgia.
Arrangements are under the care of Virgin Valley Mortuary.