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Mar 20

Tombstone Tuesday–Blaine O, Opal M (Bollenbacher), & Billy D Laffin

Blaine, Opal, & Billy Laffin, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Blaine O, Opal M (Bollenbacher), and Billie D Laffin, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

LAFFIN

Blaine O.
1908-1988

Opal M.
1909-1998

Billy D.
1932-1953

Blaine O. Laffin was born in Mercer County, Ohio, on 2 June 1908, the son of Elza/Elzy and Martha Florence (Davis) Laffin. His given name was likely Okley B. [1]

In 1910 the Elzy Laffin family lived on Lewis Pike in Center Township, Mercer County, Ohio. Their household in 1910: Elzy, 26; Florence, 22; Helen, 3; and Blaine, 1. They rented their property and Elzy was a farmer. Elzy and Florence had been married 2 years and all of the family members were born in Ohio. [2]

By 1920 the Elzy Laffin family had moved to Liberty Township, Mercer County. Their household in 1920: Elzy 36; Florence, 32; Helen, 13; Blaine, 11; and Dillon, 3. They rented their property and Elzy farmed. [3]

Blaine Laffin married Opal Bollenbacher sometime around 1930 but I was unable to locate their marriage record on-line nor could I locate their names in the 1930 census.

Opal Marie Bollenbacher was born in Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 7 February 1909, the daughter of Fred J. and Anna (Huffman) Bollenbacher. Opal grew up in Liberty Township, south of Chatt. [4] [5]

After their marriage Blaine was baptized and confirmed at Zion Chatt, as an adult, on 3 July 1932. He was baptized and confirmed by Rev. Carl Yahl.

Blaine and Opal had a son, Billy Dee Laffin, born 6 September 1932 in Celina, Mercer County. That appears to be where the family lived at the time of his birth. Billy was baptized at Zion Chatt by Rev. Carl Yahl on 15 October 1932. Billy’s parents served as his sponsors.

The Blaine Laffin family moved to the Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, area around 1937 and Blaine worked for the Essex Wire Company. They lived on Euclid Avenue. [6]

In 1940 the Laffin family lived on Church Street in Waynedale. They owned their home and Blaine operated a wire company. Their household in 1940: Blaine, 31; Opal, 31; and Billy, 7. [7] Billy attended Central High School in Fort Wayne and his photo is on-line at Ancestry.com, in their 1948 yearbook. [8]

Billy Laffin was a student at Wabash College when he developed a brain tumor and died about 6 months later, on 14 June 1953, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. He was only 20 years old. Klaehn Funeral Home in Fort Wayne was in charge of the arrangements and Billy was buried on the 17th. Blaine Laffin was the informant for the information on Billy’s death certificate. [9]

In 1958 Blaine and Opal Laffin lived on Baxter Street and Blaine was a foreman at Imperial Wire. By 1960 they had moved to East Maple Grove Avenue and Blaine was a supervisor at Imperial Wire. [10]

Blaine Laffin died 14 September 1988 in Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana. He was 80 years old and died of respiratory failure from COPD. He lived on Stonehedge Blvd, Fort Wayne and he was the supervisor of a wire and cable company. D.O. McComb was in charge of the funeral arrangements and he was buried on the 17th. [11]

Opal Marie (Bollenbacher) Laffin died 25 March 1998, at the Arbors at Fort Wayne, at the age of 89. Her death certificate indicates that she was born in Chattanooga, was a homemaker, and a widow. D.O. McComb was in charge of the funeral arrangements and she was buried on the 28th. Her nephew Brent Bollenbacher of Convoy, Ohio, was the informant for the information on her death certificate. [12]

It appears none of the Laffin funerals were held at Zion Chatt. They are not mentioned in the church records.

 

[1] “Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,” Okley B. Laffin; index, Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 914953.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Center, Mercer, Ohio, ED 109, p.9A, dwelling 186, family 187, Elzy Laffin; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.13B, dwelling 269, family 288, Elzy Laffin; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[4] 1910 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 119, p.4A, dwelling & family 60, Fred J Bollenbaugher; Ancestry.com; FHL microfilm 1375227, NARA microfilm T624, roll 1214.

[5] 1920 U.S. Census, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, ED 140, p.9B, dwelling 177, family 191, Fred J. Bollenbacher; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T625, roll 1418.

[6] U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, 1937 Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, p.386; Ancestry.com.

[7] 1940 U.S. Census, Waynedale, Allen, Indiana, ED 2-32, p.27B, line 59, Blaine Laffin; Ancestry.com; NARA microfilm T627, roll 1025.

[8] “U.S. School Yearbooks, 1888-2012,” Central High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1948; Ancestry.com.

[9] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, year 1953, roll 6, Billy D Laffin, 14 June 1953; Ancestry.com; Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[10] 1958 Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, p.595; 1960 Fort Wayne, Indiana, City Directory, p.574; Ancestry.com.

[11] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, year 1988, roll 59; Blaine O Laffin, 14 Sep 1988; Ancestry.com; Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

[12] Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, year 1998, roll 4, Opal M Laffin; Ancestry.com; Indiana State Board of Health, Death Certificates, 1900-2011, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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