Elvira Naugle, 95

Bridge teacher

June 05, 2008

Elvira Naugle, who taught the card game bridge on land and sea, died of vascular dementia Tuesday at the Charlestown Retirement Community. She was 95.

Born Elvira Lucia Philomena Serafini in Hanover, N.H., she earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of New Hampshire. She worked in that field in New York City and at King's Park Hospital on Long Island, where she met F. Dean Roylance, then a medical intern. They married in 1938. The marriage ended in divorce after 29 years.

In 1967, she married E. Richard Naugle, a tournament bridge partner with whom she established a New Jersey contract bridge club. The Naugles also taught the game to passengers on international ocean-liner cruises of the American President, Norwegian, Italian and Cunard lines.

While they were on a Queen Elizabeth II world cruise, they were among the first Western tourists to visit Communist China. They docked in Canton after it opened to foreign visitors in the 1970s, family members said.

They moved to Charlestown in 1996 and organized bridge classes and games for residents. Mr. Naugle died in 2000, and Mrs. Naugle continued to teach and run games until late in 2006. She attributed her mental acuity to reading, solving crossword puzzles and playing bridge.

At age 88, she traveled to Atessa, the Italian town where her father, a tailor, was born. Her son, Frank D. Roylance, a Sun reporter, described the journey in a feature article: "As she nears 90, my mother is still sharp, still ramrod-straight and eager to travel."

Mrs. Naugle donated her body to the Maryland Anatomy Board. No funeral is planned.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Naugle is survived by two daughters, Judith A. Roylance of Fairmont, W.Va., and Pauline McIlrath of Bloomfield, Mich.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Jacques Kelly

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