Laura Ruth Miksch Diaz – Monongahela

Laura Ruth Miksch Diaz, 93, of Carroll Township, Monongahela, passed away peacefully on Sunday September 4, 2022 at Brookdale Latrobe. She was born on December 24, 1928 in North Charleroi, the only daughter of Dr. Carl E. Miksch and Margaret Hayes Miksch. As the girl writing this obituary, I have only lived the life she led while raising her family. It wasn’t until selling her 62-year-old home in Mar-Rick Manor that I discovered photos, scrapbooks, and articles relating to her life as a young woman before marrying attorney Albert S. “Buzz” Diaz in 1956, who predeceased her on December 11, 1998. At a young age, Laura wanted to become a nurse and follow in her father’s footsteps in the medical field, however, she was redirected to pursuing the fine Arts. She majored in music at Chatham University and studied organ with Johnny Miller of Pittsburgh. In her early twenties, she had her own daily radio show on WESA, playing popular organ music of the time (late 40s and 50s). She also played the organ at corporate events, including many for Corning Glass, where she was paid professionally and in Steuben glassware parts. After a few years playing modern music, she was asked to become organist at the Lutheran Church of Christ in Charleroi, where she remained organist for 60 years, retiring in 2014 at the age of 85. The music that emanates from the church’s pipe organ will never be forgotten. Laura also had a flair for art and won several awards for her oil paintings of everyday life and landscapes. To complement her fine art abilities, she was a creative writer and an avid reader. She was very fond of writing to hundreds of correspondents around the world. And I have to say that the “creative” letters she wrote to me in college were a hit with my classmates (in hindsight, they should have been in a collection of fictional short stories)! Laura was known to be a devoted Pittsburgh Pirates fan. For many years, her friends and family knew not to interrupt her while she marked the matches in her Spalding hardcover notebooks. Other months of the summer were dedicated to Laura and Buzz’s travels, whether on cruise ships or in their RV. At the end of the summer, their house became the gathering place for “roast corn”, where freshly picked corn, still in the husk, was buried under a pile of wood and charcoal and roasted for 20 to 30 minutes. Laughter, storytelling and organ music would then fill the night air. In closing, the memories of his life are plentiful, but imagining what his life was like growing up in the “good old days” is fascinating. Laura is survived by her daughters, Tami (Bill) Stewart of Greensburg and Laurie (Chris) Castillo of Mooresville, NC; and three grandsons, Jonathon (Maura) Pennline of Mars, Pennsylvania, Brett Stewart of Monroeville and Brandon (Kendall) of Texas. The family would like to thank the staff at Brookdale Latrobe – Clare Bridge and Lori and Bridget of Bridges Hospice from the bottom of their hearts. The care provided was greatly appreciated. And a personal thank you to Pastor David Clement for his spiritual support. Friends will be received from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday September 7, 2022, at HOGAN-MELENYZER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES INC, 226 Fallowfield Ave., Charleroi. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2022, inside the funeral home with Pastor Matthew Stabe officiating. Interment will be private at Monongahela Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 601 Washington Ave., Charleroi, PA 15022. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.hogan-melenyzer.com.

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