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Obituary – Priscilla Claflin

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Priscilla Claflin

Benton, LA – Priscilla Claflin passed away at the age of 93 on 22 January 2018, at the Willis Knighton Rehabilitation Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, after a brief illness.

A memorial service will be held on 17 February 2018 at St Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport, Louisiana, at 4 pm. Officiating will be the Reverend Doctor Rowena White, assisted by the Reverend Thomas Nsubuga.

Priscilla was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on 12 July 1924. During the course of her life, Priscilla lived in Springfield, Massachusetts; Huntington, New York; Mercer Island, Washington; Blachly, Oregon; and Benton, Louisiana.

During WWII she trained in the Navy Nurse program at Columbia University and worked as a physician’s assistant until her marriage to Waldo M. Claflin in 1949. In 1951 Priscilla and Waldo welcomed their daughter, Barbara Bement Claflin. While they lived in Huntington, Priscilla and Waldo played cello and violin in the Queens Symphony Orchestra and the Huntington Symphony.

Priscilla was an ardent volunteer and became President of the Huntington Hospital Auxiliary. She received the Theodore Roosevelt Award in 1964, given to the outstanding hospital volunteer on Long Island.

In 1971 Waldo and Priscilla retired to a small ranch in Blachly, Oregon, and for the next 26 years they raised beef cattle. Priscilla volunteered as the organist for the Triangle Lake Memorial Church. She and Waldo started the Triangle Lake Fire Department. In Oregon

Priscilla became an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator, the highest rank. 25-word-a-minute Morse code was easy for her because, she said, “It is like music.” She participated in academic studies of radio wave propagation during sunspot activity.

When Wally died in 1997, Priscilla moved to Benton, Louisiana, to be near her family: daughter Barbara, son-in-law George, and their children Elizabeth and David. Priscilla loved to attend cultural activities at Centenary College, the Suzuki String Program concerts, and especially services at St. Mark’s Cathedral, where she could see her whole family singing in the choir. Priscilla was inspired by her participation in the Shreveport Writer’s Club and the Centenary Senior Writers group to write down her memories. Her book-length chronicle is a heartfelt and inspirational gift to her family.

Priscilla is preceded in death by her parents Maude and Walter Geldard, her sister Virginia Adams, and her husband Waldo Claflin. She is survived by her brother Richard Geldard, her daughter Barbara Newtown, her grandchildren Elizabeth Gore and David Newtown, and her great-grandchildren Robin Gore and Nickolas Gore.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the St. Mark’s Cathedral Music Department.

The family is grateful to the staff at Willis Knighton Bossier Hospital and Willis Knighton Rehabilitation Hospital for the kind care they gave to Priscilla.