Hilda Fyffe, recently celebrated her 105th birthday on September 23, 2014. Hilda has been a member of the Laurel Senior Friendship Club (LSFC) since January 1978, and is LSFC’s eldest member. Hilda continues to maintain her membership with the LSFC as well as with the American Legion Laurel Post 60. She has also been a long time member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Laurel.
Hilda was the 3rd child of six born to Walter Bernard Fyffe and Minnie Mae Specht Fyffe. Hilda’s older siblings were John Thomas and Walter Lawrence while her younger siblings were Joseph Lee, Harry Bernard, and Minnie
The family originally lived on their farm in Poolesville, Maryland. But following the untimely death of Hilda’s father, the farm as well as the livestock and equipment had to be sold. Hilda and her siblings had a favorite driving horse that they all loved very much and did not want to be sold. So, as the story goes, the children woke up early the morning of the sale and successfully hid the driving horse in the woods. Following the sale of the family farm, Hilda’s mom moved the family to the other side of Poolesville which is closer to the Potomac
River. They remained there for some time before moving to Laurel sometime in the 1920s.
Hilda says that the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, which initiated more hiring at the FBI, is the reason she and her brother looked for employment
at the FBI. She and her brother were both able to attain jobs there. Her brother remained employed with the FBI. However, Hilda later moved on to work for Army Payroll in Washington, D.C. where she worked for over 40 years prior to retiring. She never drove a car but rather walked to the Laurel train station and
took the train into work every day.
While Hilda was employed with Army Payroll, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had recently retired from the US Army to become President of the United States, had a question regarding his retirement pay and benefits. Hilda says that her manager told the White House that Hilda would assist the President. So, she found herself being picked up at her work place by a limousine, taken to the private entrance of the White House, and up the private elevator to the family’s living quarters. Though she met with an aide to President Eisenhower, she never forgot that experience.
Upon retiring from Army Payroll, Hilda was not one to be happy sitting still. She looked for further employment and worked as a clerk in the English Department at the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 more years.
Though never married, Hilda maintained a close relationship with all of her family, always remembering her nieces and nephews at special times over the
years, no matter their age.
Hilda continued to live in Laurel until just a few years ago when she moved to Brighton Gardens in North Bethesda. Though having some challenges with eyesight and mobility, she continues to remain a very active member of the Brighton Gardens community. She still has that wonderful sense of humor and is a regular winner of the Stumper Question during the Friday evening musical program at Brighton Gardens.
The members of the Laurel Senior Friendship Club wish to extend our best to Hilda and her family.
by Diane Bicjan