JoAnn (Bagley) Seghini
Friday, Jul. 03, 2020
JoAnn Seghini is shown receiving the 2018 Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Woman of the Year for St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish from Bishop Oscar A. Solis. IC file photo
JoAnn Bagley Seghini passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and her longtime friend and caregiver Daisy Jones on June 19, 2020 as a result of causes incident to age.
JoAnn was born on August 4, 1937 in Salt Lake City to Benedict Grant Bagley and Marie Pehrson Bagley. They moved to Midvale in 1938 when her father opened a legal practice there. She grew up in a family dedicated to community service, as her father was the Midvale City attorney for many years and both parents were heavily involved in community activities.
JoAnn graduated from Jordan High School a year ahead of schedule and entered the University of Utah at 16 under an early admission scholarship from the Ford Foundation. She originally intended to go into medicine but changed her course of study following her first year of college after working with kids in a summer camp. She realized then that she needed to be a teacher, as she felt she had such a dramatic impact on the kids she worked with. She was a proud member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She subsequently earned her degree in elementary education at the University of Utah. She married Robert Louis Seghini in 1963. They had two sons, Stephen and Edward, and later divorced.
As a single mom, she began her first teaching job at Lark Elementary in 1966. She later transferred to Bella Vista Elementary in Cottonwood Heights, where she taught fourth and fifth grade for 10 years prior to moving to the Jordan School District office as a curriculum consultant. Nedra Perkins was her right hand for nearly all those years. As a single mother with a full-time career, she earned her master’s degree and her PhD during this time, an accomplishment that would have been very difficult were it not for the love and support of her dear neighbors Richard and Darlene Christensen, who helped look after her children while she had classes. They were an incredible support and their children Rick, Tiff and Sue are like siblings to her kids. She also became involved in local politics during her education career and among other positions eventually served three terms on the Midvale City Council. She retired after 26 years in education as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and staff development at Jordan District in 1998 when she won her fist mayoral election.
The city of Midvale was her passion, and she turned down other higher profile political positions to stay in Midvale to make a difference. Among other accomplishments, she successfully annexed the Union Park area as well as navigated the recovery of the Superfund sites in Bingham Junction, creating numerous economic opportunities. She also facilitated the addition of the Road Home shelter and the Life Start Village (supporting women escaping domestic violence). She loved Midvale and everyone in it. She cherished her numerous relationships at City Hall, with Kane Loder, Chris Butte and the late Chief Tony Mason, just to name a few.
JoAnn was a member of numerous boards at any given time. She served on the board of directors for Intermountain Health Care, as president of the Salt Lake County Council of Governments, a member of the Utah Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Coordinating Council, a member of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department Board, Utah Humane Society Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Clubs Board of Directors, numerous Catholic charities, as well as many others too numerous to list. Her passion was serving people and making a difference. She loved spending time with her granddaughter Aspen. She also loved music and thoroughly enjoyed attending the Utah Opera with her good friend Colleen Costello. She also enjoyed volunteering at and being part of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Midvale. The Church was a big part of her heart and she was very passionate about serving and supporting the parish. JoAnn was passionate about animals and people and was constantly involved in efforts to help both.
JoAnn is survived by her sons Stephen Seghini (Michelle), Edward Seghini (Amber), and Stephen’s daughter Aspen Seghini, who was the shining light of JoAnn’s world; Michelle’s daughters Alexa Raddon (Jake) and Madison Attridge; and her great-grandchildren Scarlett Smith, Calvin Smith, Rush Raddon and Arrow Raddon; brothers Grant Bagley (Margaret) and John Bagley (Megan); sister Donna Olcott; and nieces and nephews John Bagley (Beth), Dave Bagley (Barbara), Susan Bagley, Paige Bagley, Todd Bagley (Brittney) and Kelly Kaufmann (Wes).
A funeral Mass was celebrated June 30 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Father Martin Diaz, rector of the cathedral, presided. Concelebrants were Msgr. Joseph M. Mayo and Msgr. Robert J. Bussen. Deacon for the Mass was Deacon Stan Stott. Father Jose Barrera, pastor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, was among those who attended. Father Hernando Diaz presided at the graveside.
“When we share the story of JoAnn, it goes on and on and on; the story of JoAnn is told in the countless lives that she has touched,” Fr. Diaz said in his homily.
Comparing JoAnn’s light to that of the Savior’s, “when we think of JoAnn, we think of a person who took that light and ran with it,” he said. “She was that light wherever she went. She was just there being who God called her to be and was able to live that out day in and day out.
When we think of JoAnn and we think of who she was to each one of us, those qualities, that generosity, compassion and love, that forgiveness, it helps us to share just a little bit more of that light,” he added.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Humane Society of Utah, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Utah, or a memorial education fund in her name through Canyons School District to provide scholarships to deserving students in the Midvale community https://www.successfund.com/joannseghinimemorialfund.