Mary Lou DeHaas died peacefully with her family by her side on February 20, 2019 after a brief illness. She was born on July 31, 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of William H. and Margaret E. Wetmore (nee Davis).
Mary Lou spent her childhood in Cleveland, Ohio and Uniontown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from
Uniontown High School in 1946 where she excelled academically as class salutatorian and as a member of the National Honor Society. Most importantly, she met the love of her life and future husband, David Robert (Bob) DeHaas.
Her academic excellence was recognized and rewarded as she was the recipient of a Pennsylvania Senatorial Scholarship which enabled her to attend the University of Pittsburgh where she majored in Business
Administration and Accounting. In 1951, she graduated with high honors and her bachelor’s degree. While at Pitt, she was the President of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the queen of Bob’s fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.
Three days after graduation from college, she and Bob were married, which began a 67-year partnership that ended only upon her death. The early part of their marriage saw them making their home in Western
Pennsylvania and West Texas as Bob completed medical school at Pitt, his medical internship and residency, and his military service as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. In her pioneering way, as an early woman business professional, she supported Bob and their young family through medical school by working in the finance and accounting department of Gulf Oil.
Beginning in 1961, Mary Lou and Bob along with their three young children made their home in Washington,
Pennsylvania. Bob was a practicing OB-GYN while Mary Lou was devoted to her family and her community. She excelled as a loving mother, rarely missing any of her children’s sporting events, recitals and school activities. She was strongly dedicated to serving her community. She was the founder of the Head Start program focused on early childhood development in Washington, the first women elder and trustee at her church, and the first councilwoman of the borough of East Washington.
She valued greatly her large contingent of dear friends with whom she pursued personal interests including weekly bridge games, hunting down treasures at antique malls and flea markets and spending time in her
Florida home over the winters. She was a loving and devoted Grammy to 8 grandchildren. One of her favorite sayings to her son and daughters upon their marriages was “You marry the family”! She lived that motto by role modeling to her extended family grace, kindness, responsibility, commitment, hard work and integrity. She also made the best fudgies the world has ever tasted.
Mary Lou is survived by her husband of 67 years, David R. DeHaas M.D., her son David R DeHaas Jr. M.D. (Lisa) and her daughters Betsy Holden (Arthur) and Deborah DeHaas (David Underwood). She deeply loved and was fiercely proud of her grandchildren David R. III, Nina and Meredith DeHaas, Andrew and Julie Holden and Eric, Alex and Matthew Underwood and four grand-dogs. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother George (Gertude) Filby, sister Ruth Filby, brother-in-law Ernest DeHaas and sisters-in-law Joanne Rush and Mary Jane Burwell.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 11:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church, 100 East Wheeling Street, Washington, PA. 15301. The family requests donations be made to either the Washington Health System Foundation, 155 Wilson Avenue, Washington, PA 15301 or First Presbyterian Church 1793, 100 East Wheeling St. Washington, PA 15301. Condolences may be expressed and information obtained at www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847) 675-1990 and www.WarcoFalvoFuneralHome.com or (724) 225-1500.