March 15, 1929—April 16, 2019
Lila M. Daugherty, daughter of the late Mildred and James L. (Jimmy) Brothers and granddaughter of the late Rev. William Thornton Williams of Ware Neck, was born Lila Jean McKeever on March 15, 1929 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Shortly thereafter, Lila and her mother Mildred went to live with her grandparents in North Versailles, Pennsylvania. Lila’s grandparents, William T. and Lula M. Williams had a summer home in Ware Neck, so Lila spent her summers at a lovely cottage with a beautiful view on the Ware River. This would eventually become the permanent home of the Rev. William T. Williams and then of his daughter, Mildred and husband Jimmy.
Lila attended school in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and graduated from McKeesport High School in 1947. She moved to Virginia shortly thereafter to work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Field, Virginia from 1947-1952.
She met her future husband, William Franklin Daugherty (Bill Daugherty), at NACA, and they married on Oct. 25, 1952, and lived in Hampton, for a short time before moving to California, where they resided in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach.
In 1955, Lila and Bill began an adventure of a lifetime, moving to the Space Coast of Florida, where Bill worked as an aeronautical engineer for North American Aviation, and they had their first child, Sharon, while living in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The “Space Race” took them back to California in 1957, and daughter Leslie was born shortly thereafter. Their son, Mark, was also born in California. Bill was transferred to White Sands, New Mexico and then on to Florida to follow the Apollo mission. Lila, with their three children drove to Florida to set up housekeeping and get the children enrolled in school before Bill’s work assignment allowed him to follow.
Lila loved life in Florida, and especially in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral area. She was an avid swimmer and loved to spend time on the beach with her family. She and Bill also enjoyed socializing with other aeronautical engineers and astronauts.
But Florida did not end up being Lila’s permanent residence. In 1964, Bill was transferred back to California, and Lila and Bill moved to Fullerton, California, where their children continued their schooling. Lila was an active volunteer on the Raymond School PTA; and was a “soccer mom” before her time taking her children to all of their weekly sports, music, dance, and art activities. She sewed most of her daughters’ outfits plus her own for many years. It was when they moved to Fullerton that Lila and Bill joined Morningside Presbyterian Church, and Lila served for many years on the Board for the Children’s Center and Preschool.
In 1970, Lila rejoined the workforce as a legal secretary for the Stedman and Menicucci Law Firm (later to be Stedman and Smith) in Anaheim, California and worked there for 10 years. In 1981, Lila went to work for Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton as a secretary, and retired from Hughes in 2001. She loved working, and always enjoyed the camaraderie of her coworkers.
Lila enjoyed traveling, and each year she traveled back to her roots in Ware Neck to visit with family and friends. She always made a stop to Williamsburg, where she enjoyed the history of our nation. Her travels included Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, and throughout most of the United States.
Lila was a loving daughter to her own mother, and took care of her in her last years of life. She loved her children, and was delighted to become a grandmother and great-grandmother.
Lila passed away with her family by her side on April 16, 2019.
She is survived by her children, Mark Daugherty, Leslie Baker, and Sharon Cordes; grandchildren, Chasen Daugherty, Tyler Daugherty, Jennifer Gregory, Kristina Baker, and Colin Baker, and great-grandchildren, Cole Gregory, Beau Gregory, and Aurora Daugherty.
Services and burial will be held in Schley on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Beulah Baptist Church. A lunch reception will follow.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org/ or by mail at: 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, Ill. 60601. Alzheimer’s Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible.