Diane M. Daffin, president of Pennsylvania-based chocolate and candy company Daffin’s Inc., passed away Sept. 27 at her home in Hermitage, Pa., after a battle with ALS. She was 60.
“Diane Daffin was known throughout as a generous and loving person,” reads a Sept. 30 post on Daffin’s Candies Facebook page. “She was always willing to lend a helping hand in any way she could. She had a beautiful outlook on life, and even while fighting her courageous battle against ALS, she kept a positive attitude.”
Daffin, a fourth-generation leader of the company, was born in 1956 in Sharon, Pa., the daughter of Paul “Pete” and Jean Daffin. She graduated from Sharon High School in 1974 and attended Penn State University’s Shenango campus.
Daffin worked at the family business her whole life, and especially enjoyed working with her parents.
“Jean Daffin was the quiet genius behind the desk, and Diane was eager to learn,” reads Diane Daffin’s obituary in the Youngstown Vindicator. “Diane was still her father’s daughter and possessed Pete Daffin’s gregarious and infectious personality.”
Daffin’s Candies, founded in 1903 by George Daffin, creates a variety of chocolates, fudge and taffy at its Farrell, Pa., factory store. The company also has five retail locations in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
Diane Daffin was involved in several community causes, including the Mercer County Jaycees and March of Dimes. She had been chairperson for an American Heart Association Heart Ball, as well as the annual Cor Vitae sponsor. She had also sponsored and participated in the annual Heart Walk.
Daffin also spearheaded Daffin’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, donating thousands of dollars of chocolate, candies and gifts for the event. She also was instrumental in founding a scholarship in honor of her parents.
Daffin was preceded in death by her parents; four aunts, Mary Alice Sigler, Kathryn Harpster, Dorothy Costello and Luella Daffin; an uncle, Harry Costello; a longtime companion, Mike Murphy; and her beloved dog, Murph. She is survived by two uncles, Joe Costello of Sharpsville, Pa., and Bernie Sigler and his wife, Dorothy, of Hermitage.; and several cousins.
Funeral services were held Oct. 3 at Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home in Sharon. Interment was at Oakwood Cemetery in Hermitage.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Daffin Family Foundation, c/o Community Foundation of W. PA and Eastern Ohio, 7 W. State St., Sharon, Pa. 16146.