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Mary Agnes Moss

  • On September 25, 2018

Mary Agnes Moss, 98 years of age, died Wednesday 9/19/2018 at Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hilton Head SC., after being ill for a week with pneumonia. Her remains will be taken to Pennsylvania for mourning and internment.  Mary Agnes Rodgers was born March 14, 1920, in Fayette City, PA, to father, John Rodgers and mother, Grace Hamer. She lived in Blackridge until 2007 when she moved to Murrysville to Lyons Run Estates and then in 2011, she moved to Independent Living at Redstone Highlands in Murrysville.  She came to South Carolina in 2017 and resided with her son and daughter-in-law (John and Leigh Moss) in Habersham of Beaufort, SC. She was united in marriage in Canonsburg, PA to (Pete) Vassar Young Moss, Jr M.D. on April 8th, 1943. To this union three children were born, John Lawrence, William Foster and Mary Ann (Stein).  Agnes was preceded in death by her parents, her husband (Pete) Vassar Young Moss in 1995 and her daughter Mary Ann in 2007 and her 3 siblings, (Tom) Joseph T. Rodgers (2013); (Jack) John Rodgers (2017) and Margaret Ann (Rodgers) Baeslack (1983)

Agnes has been a member of the Beulah Presbyterian Church since 1955.  She was a member of PEO and the Women’s Club of Wilkinsburg. She worked as a nurse in Magee Women’s Hospital before and during WWII.

Funeral Home calling hours for Mrs. Agnes Moss will be Friday September 28, 2018 from 2PM-4 PM and 6PM – 8PM  at “Cremation and Funeral Care”, 3287 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317.

A memorial Service will be held Saturday morning, September 29, 2018 at eleven o’clock in the Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA. Her family is requesting that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the UPMC-Magee Women’s Hospital at mageewomens.org. Following Services there will be a reception for friends and family at Bill Moss’s home in Canonsburg, PA from 1-4 PM.

Her Family:

She leaves to mourn her loss, a son John Lawrence Moss, a daughter-in-law Leigh Moss, a son William Foster Moss, a daughter-in-law, Donna Moss, 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

John’s Family:

Son (Dr.  & Ms. Daniel & Georgie Moss; Sander, Keller, Brinley) of Atlanta, GA

Son (Mr.  & Ms. Brett & Oriana Moss: Suzana, Alexa, Leandro) of Key Biscayne, FL

Daughter (Mr. & Ms. Daniel & Jennifer (Moss) Kaderly: Curtis, Jake) of Columbus, OH

Stepdaughter (Ms. Lindsay Levine): of Boston, MA

William’s Family:

Daughter (Dr. Lauren Moss: Foster) of Washington, PA

Daughter (Mr.  & Ms. Michael & Katy (Moss) Flaherty:Ruari, Rosaleen) of Grand Prairie, TX

Son (Dr. Michael Moss) of Ft. Worth, TX

Mary Ann (Moss) Stein’s Family:

Daughter (Ms. Amanda Stein) and fiancé Joseph Tammariello of Pittsburgh, PA

Her Life:

Agnes was born in Fayette City, PA, to John Rodgers, a coal miner foreman, and Grace Hamer; Her family later settled in Bairdford, PA, and she graduated from Etna High School and then from Magee Hospital Nursing School in Pittsburgh, PA with her RN in late 1941.  She trained and then worked at Magee Women’s Hospital, (now UPMC), during WWII as an OB/GYNE nurse. On a blind date, she met Vassar Moss, Jr. (Pete) a Pitt Medical School Graduate and Magee Women’s Resident in OB/GYNE. After the date, she told him that he could dance so she decided to date him. They danced most times that they were together.

Early in 1944, Pete went in to the Army stationed at Carlisle, PA. From there Agnes followed him on maneuvers from state to state before his eventual deployment to the Pacific Theater. They applied for a marriage license in early April 1943 while he was on a brief leave and were married in his parents’ home in Canonsburg in front of the fireplace on April 8, 1943. Agnes went all the way to Pittsburgh on a bus to pick up their wedding cake and walked in the rain up steep Belmont Ave an hour before they took their vows.

They honeymooned in Chicago at the Palmer House for 2 days. The Army’s maneuvers took them to bases in Michigan, Kansas, Maryland, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi & Georgia where Agnes worked as a nurse in nearby towns. In March 1944, Pete was then deployed to Maui, Hawaii at a field medical unit and eventually to Japan shortly before they surrendered and arrived with the occupation forces.   Pete returned home in 1946 and went on to practice for 40 years at Magee Women’s Hospital. They settled in the Blackridge section of Wilkinsburg where they raised their family … two sons and a daughter. Agnes was a very active person in the local community and was a member of the Wilkinsburg Women’s Club, PEO, PTA and several charities. One of her noted volunteer moments was in 1976 when CBS’s “60-Minutes” came to Magee Women’s Hospital where she was volunteering in the “Thymus Irradiation Recall Project” to interview her where she would review patient birth records for patients whose babies had been treated for Thymus gland enlargement as newborns.  The project was looking for patients nationwide who had received treatment… irradiated as newborns… to recommend that they be checked for possible Thyroid cancer.  One of the “60-minute” camera crew actually found out that as a result of the interview with Agnes that he had been treated there for Thymus gland enlargement and so was subsequently checked.

She got her 15 minutes of fameon CBS with Morley Safer in a piece about “recalling people” back in 1976.  She loved to play Bridge and learned it from Pete before they were married.  She played often and became an excellent player.  Agnes collected antiques, porcelain birds, hats and other collectables.

Her Two Passions:

 First– her love of her family.  Agnes was all about her family and tending to their needs.  Making sure all her children received a good education was first and foremost.  She was a loving caregiver and nurse to her Sister, Mother, Father, Father-in-law and Mother-in-law when they became ill.

 Second– when she was not involved with schools or caring for a loved one, her lifelong daily passion was Reading.  Agnes was a speed-reader with no competitors.  She would read up10-12 books a week.  In 2007, she received a Kindle and learned that it was easier to read several books at once since you could carry all of them on your Kindle at the same time.  The simple math of the number of books that she has read in her life is—approximately 40,000.  Needless to say, she has read all the NY Times best sellers of 2017-2018 and all the Kindle unlimitedbooks to date.  Amazon/Kindle will really miss her!

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1 Comment

jing and jb barney
  • Sep 29 2018
A long life, well lived, with excellent outcomes. from what I know, she was not real well traveled, but ah, where 40,000 books will take you...I'm sure eclipsed all of our travels combined.