Biography of

Edith Lillian Dague Heath

 

Born 01 Jul 1913, Monesson, PA
Died 14 Feb 1998, Easton, PA
Married Edwin Clifford Heath  19 Mar 1949

Edwin Clifford Heath and Edith Lillian Dague joined in marriage, March 19, 1949.

Children Born
Edwin Bertrand Heath 21 Oct 1949
Patti Jane Heath 18 Dec 1952

I first met Edith Lillian Heath with my wife, Patti Jane Heath when she took us for supper at her house in the east side of Allentown, PA.  Edith greeted me with a big smile, a big hug, and we had a wonderful dinner together getting to know each other.  Edith as a child had a hard life because her mother (Nancy Buckingham Dague) passed away at an early age, and she had to take care of her brother and sister as if she were their mother.   She moved to Allentown and accepted a position at the Allentown State Hospital, in Allentown she met (on a blind date) Edwin Clifford Heath (who worked for Bethlehem Steel as a Chemical Technician), and they married in 1949.   Edwin and Edith had two children, Edwin Bertrand Heath (who is mentally challenged and currently living in a group home in Bethlehem, PA) and Patti Jane Heath, my wife.

I have many fond memories of Edith.  She was a large woman, and said she used her size to put patients in their place at the State Hospital. She would put on her gruffest face, and even though she said "she was shaking in her shoes" she would settle them down.   She was a very caring, optimistic, and wonderful person, a tremendous cook, and loved to play pinochle dearly, and claimed she never counted cards (sure...).

Edith sadly contracted Alzheimer's Disease in her 60's, and spent the last 14 1/2 years of her life in a nursing home, mainly in Easton, PA.   She passed away on Valentines Day, 1998.  I provided the eulogy for her funeral, it was the least I felt I could do for such a special person.

 

 

Edith Lillian Dague - Age 13 wks - 18 lbs

She was a young child, carefree and happy

Chasing butterflies, the sun warm on her shoulders

She first had to bear the loss of her mother and grow up too early

And give her brother, sister, father a chance...

When it came time for her to fly, she gave her life to helping others

She met her man, accepted him, and gave herself to him.

Had two children, the first one so challenged

But she loved them both dearly, and gave to them everything, as she always had

Then the loss of a husband

Then the final blow... the loss of self

Still, when we came to see you, and Patti would clip your nails and comb your hair, and you would smile and know that we loved you..

We miss you Edy.. with all our hearts..

Even today, we find you here, your warmth and manner filling our lives.

 

 

 

Edith Lillian and Edwin Clifford Heath, about 1949.

 

 

 

 

Edith Lillian Heath, News article on wedding.

 

 

Vivian Risley Place and Edith Heath, July of 1980 (Yatzee of course...)

 

 

Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA

References

Edith D Heath Obituary, 14 Feb 1998, Allentown

Edith Heath Engagement Announcement - Allentown Morning Call

Letter to Miss Dague (future Mrs. Edwin Clifford Heath) on the occasion of her engagement -  Box 117, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Indies, January 7th, 1949.  Miss Edith L. Dague. R.N. State Hospital, Allentown.  Dear Miss Dague :  A letter from Bethlehem tells us that my nephew Clifford has succeeded in winning you for his future life-partner.  Judging by the comments made, it is he who is to be heartily congratulated.  My wife and I offer you our very best wishes for your whole united life, and cordially welcome our new niece.  Clifford may have told you that he has an ancient uncle, whom he is pleased to call his "Chum".  We have no children of our own; and I have always been specially interested in Clifford.  I am convince that he has excellent brains and general capabilities.  Perhaps a good wife will find out where the electric switch is located that will bring them all into full activity.  You have probably discovered already that he is patient and kindly.  If you can both determine to practice close fellowship in prayer and the daily study of the word of God, then I am sure your home will be a happy one.   In your own noble calling you have already had plenty of opportunity for following in the footsteps of the Great Physician.   We shall be interested to know when and where the wedding is to be.  With best greetings, in which your future Aunt joins, I remain Yours Very Truly, George R. Heath.

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Edith Heath Graduation (undated) from Nursing College, Circa 1947 (Edith is in the Middle, back)