Curtiss H. McGaffin Sr., 94, Sun Linotype operator

December 17, 2003

Curtiss Hewitt "Mac" McGaffin Sr., a retired Linotype operator for The Sun who was active in affairs of Columbia Typographical Union Local 101-12, died of pneumonia Friday at his daughter's home in Pasadena. He was 94.

Mr. McGaffin was born into the newspaper business in Omaha, and raised in Bruning, Neb., where his father owned the Bruning Banner and his grandfather owned and published the Bellwood Gazette nearby. Three uncles also owned and published newspapers in the state, while three cousins worked as reporters.

Mr. McGaffin was 8 when he began learning to operate a Linotype machine in his grandfather's composing room. After graduating from high school in 1927, he studied journalism for two years at Nebraska State University.

After working for several newspapers, he moved to Baltimore in 1933 and became a Linotype operator in the composing room of The Sun.

Mr. McGaffin enlisted in the Army in 1944, and served with the 759th Light Tank Battalion. He landed in Normandy on June 10, 1944, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he published The Cavalier, a newspaper for the 4th Cavalry, in Langen, Germany, before being discharged in 1946. He was a member of American Legion Post 156 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He resumed his career at The Sun, and retired in 1974.

He was a lifelong member of Local 101-12, and an active member of the Baltimore Sun Retirees Association, Retired Printers Association and Printers War Veterans Association.

A resident of Pasadena for 35 years, Mr. McGaffin was married in 1932 to Audrey Romoser, a poet, critic and a founder of the Baltimore Writers Forum. She died in 1993.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Loudon Park Cemetery, 3620 Wilkens Ave.

Surviving are his son, Curtiss H. McGaffin II of Willow Grove, Pa.; a daughter, Marguerite V. Rush of Pasadena; a sister, Marcia Beth McGaffin of Rollin Hills Estates, Calif.; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.

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