Loretta Bugeja Digney

Honored by:Michael Bugeja
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Loretta Digney thinks of herself as a homemaker and sister to older brother Michael Bugeja, journalist and Iowa State professor. But she is much more than that. Ms. Digney graduated from Lyndhurst High School in New Jersey and could have followed her brother to college--and did in fact earn an "A" in the one course that she took--but decided instead to be the life partner of Daniel Digney whose enduring love her for is a tribute to her goodness and values. Together they raised a beautiful family with daughter Cheryl and son Michael Digney, both college students.

Since childhood Ms. Digney's life contributions were service and caring for others--not at her own expense--but because she found joy and meaning in helping those who meant so much to her, especially her mother Josephine Apap Bugeja and father Michael Carl Bugeja, both of whom she deeply loved and cared for in later years in health and illness. Their father Michael adored Loretta even before she was born. Five years younger than her brother, Dr. Bugeja's earliest memory is his father telling him that his newborn sister was to be named after their paternal grandmother, Loretta Meilak Bugeja. Ms. Digney's influence on Dr. Michael Bugeja has been profound. He credits her with teaching him the values of compassion and service and the unsung beauties and blessings of family and community life.

Ms. Digney's own Maltese beauty and youthful looks have not changed much since her teenage years and reflect how a life dedicated to love and service can spring eternal physically as well as spiritually. Throughout their very different lives as homemaker in New Jersey and professor in Iowa, Loretta and Michael have kept in touch weekly; all those who see them together comment on never before having witnessed such a strong sibling relationship. In every sense of the word, Loretta Bugeja Digney is a heroine whose quiet presence in this world has enriched all who have known her.

--From her loving brother Dr. Michael Bugeja 2-28-2008