Diana H. McLaughlin, 85, advocate for women

September 21, 2004

Diana H. McLaughlin, a women's advocate and former staff member of New Directions for Women, died of colitis Sept. 14 at the Atlanta home of her daughter. The former Baltimore resident was 85.

She was born Diana Holloway in New Rochelle, N.Y., and was raised in Lansdowne, Pa., where she graduated from high school. She resided for many years in Redington Beach, Fla., with her husband, Martin J. McLaughlin.

After a divorce, she moved to Baltimore in 1976 and settled in Charles Village. She went to work for New Directions for Women - now Maryland New Directions Inc., a nonprofit counseling agency and career resource center - as a staff member for its Center for Displaced Homemakers.

"Diana helped many Baltimore-area widows and divorced women gain confidence and find jobs through workshops and an internship program she developed," said Joyce Keating, a former colleague and longtime friend.

As a displaced homemaker, Mrs. McLaughlin often testified before the Maryland legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives on issues facing women who had been similarly affected or widowed, family members said.

After retiring in the early 1990s, she volunteered at the Enoch Pratt Free Library on Cathedral Street and at Union Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. McLaughlin, who had lived at Westminster House in downtown Baltimore and established its tenants' association, moved to Atlanta last year.

Services are private.

Mrs. McLaughlin is survived by three sons, Jay McLaughlin of Rowlett, Texas, John McLaughlin of Atlanta and Kevin McLaughlin of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a daughter, Denise McLaughlin of Atlanta; a brother, Richard Holloway of Paoli, Pa.; a sister, Jane Zettlemoyer of Gaffney, S.C.; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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