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Laughlin, Lois, 1925-2008



  • Existence: 1925 - 2008


Lois Lucile Wood Laughlin, activist, librarian, and volunteer, was born in 1925 in Berkeley, California, to Anna Lucile Kersey and Herbert Ross Wood. She married Donald Eugene Laughlin in 1945, and the couple had six children, David, Janet, Martha, Ruth, Naomi, and Roger. In 1946, Laughlin earned a BA in history and a teaching certificate from Whittier College in Whittier, California, and moved with her husband to West Branch, Iowa. Laughlin taught English and drama and was the school librarian at Scattergood Friends School, a private Quaker boarding school in West Branch, intermittently from 1946 until the late 1960s. In 1949, Don Laughlin was sentenced to serve eighteen months in federal prison for refusing to comply with the Selective Service Act; he was released after serving six months of his sentence. During this time, Lois Laughlin raised their infant son, David. Don Laughlin was pardoned by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

During the 1960s, Lois Laughlin attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, to earn an Iowa teaching certificate. From 1968 to 1974, she worked as a high school librarian in Tipton, Iowa. She subsequently worked at the registration center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. She earned an MA in library science at the University of Iowa in 1970. Laughlin served as a clerk for Society of Friends monthly meetings, president and treasurer of the Tipton, Iowa, branch of the American Association of University Women, and a board member of the Scattergood Friends School Committee. In 1986, Laughlin's daughter, Ruth, died in Pennsylvania. Another daughter, Janet, died of lung cancer in 2004 in Iowa. Laughlin has been committed to world peace and involved in the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Lois Laughlin died in 2008.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Lois Laughlin papers

Identifier: IWA0184

Papers of an activist from West Branch, Iowa, include correspondence and newspaper clippings relating to her husband's status as a conscientious objector.

Dates: 1939-2007