Mount Vernon News
  • Wanda Diller Gilligan

  • February 2, 2011

MOUNT VERNON — A Memorial Mass for Wanda Diller Gilligan, 83, of Mount Vernon and formerly of Newark, will be held Friday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Newark, with the Very Rev. G. Michael Gribble and the Rev. Stephen Metzger officiating.

The family will greet friends for one-half hour prior to the service at the church, and immediately following the service at a luncheon reception to be held at the Blessed Sacrament Annex. Inurnment will be held at a later date at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Wanda Diller Gilligan died at her home in Mount Vernon, on Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. She was born June 25, 1927, in Crooksville, Ohio, the fifth child of Sherman E. Diller and Gladys M. Diller Veach. The family moved to Newark, Ohio, when she was a year old.

She was a member of the class of 1945 at Newark High School. She and Carl Gilligan were married in 1948 and shared a very happy life. They have four much-cherished children and six beloved grandchildren: Michael (John Indalecio) of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Patrick (Lynn Agapi Gilligan) and their daughters, Halle, Kate and Abby of Gambier, Ohio; Sandra of Boise, Idaho; and Mickey (Jim Mills) and their children, Sam, Peter and Anne Mills of Cincinnati, Ohio. She returned to college after her children were born and earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio Dominican University and a master’s degree at The Ohio State University. She taught at Newark St. Francis de Sales and at Blessed Sacrament School, and was the first lay principal at B.S.S. She also taught communications part time for a number of years at Central Ohio Technical College. She and Carl moved to Mount Vernon in 2003.

Wanda was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish and the Newark High Class of 1945 Lunch Bunch. She and Carl were founding members of the Blessed Sacrament School Alumni/Alumnae Association and the first editors of the B.S.S.A.A. newsletter. She wrote prolifically, mostly for her own amusement and edification, but also to give her students examples to follow in their writing. She wrote a humor column in the Advocate from 1986-1988, provided articles and columns to that newspaper and to others, won several prizes for her short stories, and authored a fiction book about Licking County, “Andrew’s Journey,” published in 2009.

She is survived by her husband, children and grandchildren; two sisters, Vaida Thompson of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Shirley Rudolph of Newark; sisters-in-law, Mary Diller of Cleveland, Jo Ann Diller of Newark and Theresa Gilligan of Westerville; brothers-in-law and their spouses: Joe Gilligan of Newark, Bob and Nancy Gilligan of Lexington, Ky.; many wonderful nephews and nieces; and special friend, Peggy Komada.

She was preceded in death by her parents; parents-in-law, Frank and Bernice Gilligan; five brothers and sisters and four of their spouses, Hazel (Carl) Hawkins, Blakely (Rita) Diller, Dale (Dotti) Diller, Roberta (Bill) Wilson, and Tracey Diller; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Rich Gilligan, Dorothy Gilligan, Patti and Jack Maier, Tom Gilligan, Nina Smith Gilligan and Geraldine Gilligan; two nephews, Barry Diller and Dennis Gilligan; and a niece, Nancy Jo Gilligan Knode.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be given to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

From Wanda — “I forgive any who may have injured me and ask pardon of those whom I have injured.” (from the Act of Love)

Reed Egan Funeral Home, 141 Green Wave Drive, Newark, is in charge of the arrangements. To share your memory of Wanda, or leave a condolence for the family, please visit

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