Diana P. Vargofcak
November 3, 1925 – January 9, 2019
Diana P Vargofcak passed this day, January 9, 2019, after a long struggle with dementia. Diana was born in 1925 in Cicero, Illinois and is preceded in death by her parents, Augusta & Peter; a brother, Henry; a sister, Patricia (Patsy); and her beloved husband, Frank Vargofcak.
Diana, a 1943 graduate of Providence High School and member of their National Honor Society, won a full scholarship to Mundelein College. A member of Mundelein’s College of Honors, she graduated with a BA in math in 1947. A brilliant & gifted mathematician, she earned a cum laude Masters of Science degree in Math from De Paul University in 1952.
Diana worked as a computer programmer, one of the first women to do so, at the Argonne National Lab in their Applied Math Division on digital programming. Her computer programming skills writing code contributed to the creation of many of the earliest computer programing codes instrumental in the development of digital coding used in the framework of working computers today. Codes she developed were part of creating nuclear reactor simulations, designs, & theory. Her theories & calculations were verified during visits to top secret sites to view nuclear detonations and their scatter patterns her mathematical calculations predicted.
Fiercely independent, she packed up and drove across country to move to Los Angeles where she met her beloved husband, Frankie, and settled down as pregnancy terminated employment for gifted intellectual women then. Her exceptionally curious active mind combined with that feisty independence caused Diana to buy a stylish used convertible after high school graduation to drive the famed Route 66, tour the SoCal beaches; and during college, into Mexico to tour Acapulco & Tijuana. She loved cruises with friends to pre-Castro Cuba & Hawaii. Diana loved to travel anytime anywhere.
Frank, an ATF agent, was transferred in 1975 to the DC office & they moved to Springfield, VA. Diana was a long-time member of the Laurel Garden Club & instrumental in planting & tending to the tiny triangle garden at the corner of Sydenstricker & Olde Keene Mill Roads. She and Frank enjoyed activities with retired ATF members and were among founding members of Nativity Catholic Church. Diana enjoyed bridge, floral arranging, oil-painted prolifically, sewed passionately, & fervently discussed politics & current events with whoever would listen.
Diana spent her final year living at Sunrise Silas Burke House. Diana will be forever remembered as a devout Catholic, gifted mathematician with a brilliant intellect, with an intense devotion to her beloved husband, Frankie. Diana is survived by her only child, Dr. Mary (Mardi) Vargofcak-Apker (John), as well as a single grand-child, Keira, all of Northern Virginia.
Donations may be made in Diana's name to: Catholic Relief Services (228 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 (www.crs.org).
- Visitation Saturday, January 19, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, January 19, 2019
- Committal Service Monday, January 21, 2019
Diana P. Vargofcak
Therese C Barts
January 17, 2019
I worked with Diana at Argonne National Lab during the 1950s. She was a very gifted programmer with a very sharp wit. But best of all she was a wonderful inspiration and friend.
Therese Czaja Barts
Mary Lu Bednarsky
January 11, 2019
Diana was a dear friend I met through my job at a local bank and a friendship of many years developed! She was always upbeat and had a very caring and kind personality. We shared meetings at a garden club, went to movies, took each other out for birthdays, saw the musical "Mama Mia" together with our spouses and shared many other special times that good friends do! She sure did have a way with numbers and for all of her tax years she filed her own returns. She was immensely proud of her Lithuanian heritage from which she got her youthful looks! She was a dear and sweet friend who will be remembered fondly.