Newburgh Free Academy Memorial
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Gertrude Wells Laffin - Class of 1938

Delete this post Submitted by Fran Olson Gustafson 1965 <> on 27/Aug/2017

      Gertrude Wells Laffin (Age 96) "AG" Born April 13, 1921 in Newburgh NY to Elizabeth Hyndman and Charles Henry Wells; died of natural causes on August 7, 2017 in Bethesda MD. A resident of Bethesda, MD since the early 1950's, Gertrude Wells Laffin was a World War II veteran and civilian intelligence analyst. She graduated from Newburgh Free Academy high school and received her bachelor's degree from what was then called State Teachers College at New Paltz (now SUNY New Paltz). After a brief career as a teacher, Laffin enlisted in the US Navy as an ensign in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) in 1943. She rose to the rank of lieutenant and was honorably discharged in 1949. For most of her military career she was stationed in Washington DC but she was stationed briefly in Pearl Harbor, HI. After the war Laffin became a civilian employee of the National Security Agency. In 1975, Laffin retired from the federal government and worked part-time in the china section of the Woodward and Lothrop department store. Laffin enjoyed traveling, including trips to Europe and Australia. She played bridge several times a week and maintained an active social life. She was also a proud member of the Women's Club of Bethesda, and through the club was a dedicated volunteer at the Montgomery County Thrift Shop in Bethesda. Laffin was devoted to her family. As children, her nieces and nephew dubbed her "AG" (short for Aunt Gert) and it became her lifelong nickname with family and friends alike. Known for her cornflower blue eyes and head of thick white hair, which she acquired at age 35, AG was friendly and outgoing with a ready smile for strangers, whom she would charm with irresistible dimples. Her marriage to the late Edward Laffin ended in divorce. She was preceded in death by her beloved niece, Nancy Baird Moretta and two older sisters, Sarah Wells "Sally" Duffy and Elizabeth Wells "Dody" Baird. She is survived by her first cousin, Jane Hyndman of Montgomery Village, MD; niece, Sarah Brookhart of Silver Spring, MD; nephew, Wells Duffy of Lynchburg, VA; nephew, Thomas Moretta of Preston CT; great-nieces, Amy Elizabeth Brookhart of Silver Spring, MD, Allison Moretta Noonan of Plainville CT and Kristin Moretta Baber of Vernon CT; and numerous great-great nieces and nephews. Laffin will be interred in Arlington Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to So Others Might Eat ( or the Women's Club of Bethesda, 5500 Sonoma Road, Bethesda MD 20817. Please visit and sign the family guestbook at:

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