Anna Marie Daffern


March 31, 1933, Pittsburgh, PA  –  July 26, 2021, Woodinville, WA


image of Anna Marie Daffern

Anna Marie Daffern

Anna Marie Daffern (Mickey to her friends and Babe to her family) was born and spent her early years in Pittsburgh PA on the North side; she was the only child of Nick and Antonia Maex.Mom had a wonderful childhood growing up with her large extended Maex, Glaas, and Kirwald family in Pennsylvania and Maryland and she attended Horace Mann School in Pittsburgh. Shortly after WW2 the family moved to Culver City, CA where she graduated from Hamilton High School in 1951. While she was still in high school, she got a job as an administrative assistant at Columbia Pictures, and she developed a lifelong interest in the motion picture industry. At the time, her dad owned a parking lot across the street from NBC Studios where she met Frank Daffern, who was employed there as a page after his service in the Coast Guard in WW2, and they were married in 1951. Their son Nick was born in 1953. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in 1967 and because Mom had a love of travel, she went to night school to learn to become a travel agent in order to provide for herself and Nick. She was hired by John Gibson Travel and learned the wholesale travel business there. She was assigned to the Qantas account and helped to develop travel programs across the South Pacific region and made many friends there in the process. Mom was offered the opportunity to head up a new company, Open Road Travel, where she pioneered the concept of “Fly / Drive” to Australia and New Zealand; and she eventually started her own – highly successful – company, Intercontinental Tours in Los Angeles that specialized in Fly / Drive, Group, and high-end individual travel to the South Pacific. During this time, she developed a very close relationship with Pan Am and became their in-house tour operator for South Pacific travel.

Mom was stricken with ovarian cancer in 1983 and underwent intensive chemotherapy and a then experimental Interferon and radiation treatment program which resulted in her having to step away from the business she loved. Thankfully, she beat the cancer but at the cost of health issues that plagued her later. After her recovery she made a new life as a personal manager for high net worth individuals until she retired and moved to the Seattle area to be closer to her son Nick and daughter-in-law Anne.

Anna Marie Daffern was a loving daughter and The World’s Best Mom. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her family. She was a truly remarkable woman who was loving, caring, funny, and generous to a fault. Mom lived an exciting and eventful life filled with travel and adventure and had friends all around the world. Although there are no words to express our sense of grief at the loss of this good and loving person, her memory and spirit live on in our hearts.

At her request there will be no memorial service.

One Response to “Anna Marie Daffern”

  • Dinah Piggott says:

    I worked for Anna Marie at Intercontinental Tours in Los Angeles shortly after I graduated from UCLA in 1975. She was a very kind, sweet person while being a very astute business woman. I had to leave her employ and relocate to Orange County with my fiancé but I remember her fondly.

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