Frank H. Lafferty, 83, programs analyst, veteran

September 13, 2004

Frank H. Lafferty, a retired programs analyst for the Air Force who became a renowned volunteer at Severna Park High School, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia at Anne Arundel Medical Center. He was 83 and had lived at Pines on the Severn for 49 years.

Born and raised in Dover, Del., Mr. Lafferty enlisted in the Army Air Forces in 1943, serving as a communications chief in England and Portugal before being honorably discharged in 1946.

After taking courses at George Washington University, Mr. Lafferty began a 25-year career as a civilian employee with the Air Force Systems Command in 1951.

He settled in Maryland that year with a move by the operation, then called the Air Research and Development Command, said his wife of 56 years, the former Jean Whitlock. In November 1955, while flying home from a business trip to Tennessee, Mr. Lafferty had to parachute into the mountains of Virginia, which earned him membership in the group who shared that experience, known as the Caterpillar Club.

Mr. Lafferty retired in 1975 and later began to volunteer at Severna Park High School - an involvement that grew to between 30 and 55 hours a week during a period of more than 23 years.

"That really was his life. We hope he influenced a lot of young players," Mrs. Lafferty said.

His first love was football, but with the aid of his signature golf cart, he became popular with band members and players in a variety of sports, she said. He was an assistant to the school's athletic director, and the department named its Unsung Hero Award for Mr. Lafferty. In 1994, he received the Bob Pascal Award for his contributions to Anne Arundel County athletics, and last year he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Severna Park High School Hall of Fame.

In addition to sports, Mr. Lafferty enjoyed telling stories and was a York Rite Mason of Annapolis Lodge 89 and a charter member of Elks Broadneck Lodge 2608.

He was a member for almost 40 years of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Stephen W. Lafferty of Towson and Michael J. Lafferty of Timonium; a sister, Frances Saran of Annapolis; and two grandchildren.

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