John D. Laffin

August 14th, 2013

John D. Laffin, age 61, of Shirley, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away unexpectedly on August 10, 2013. Born in Boston on January 19, 1952, John was the beloved son of the late Lloyd and Florence (Dawson) Laffin. He was raised in Wilmington near Silver Lake. John enjoyed growing up near the lake. If John was not in the lake swimming or fishing, he could be found inside Tattersall’s just hanging out. Following elementary school in Wilmington, John attended and graduated from the John T. Berry School.

John was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was ten. John never let this hold him back in life. He was a member of the Wilmington Handicapped Commission and worked very hard to obtain rights for the handicapped. John began working as a custodian at the General Services Administration Internal Revenue Service in Andover. He worked there for thirteen years before accepting a job at the Fort Devens Commissary. His job was to operate a machine that crushed the cardboard boxes and discarded them, this was a two person job. After the first day, John adapted the machine so that he could run it all by himself. John was a very dependable employee at Ft. Devens. If he was done with his work, he would look around to see if anyone else needed help, stocking groceries, cleaning, unloading trucks or even helping the cashiers. John was recognized for all his hard work in 1986, when he was named the Fort Devens Handicapped Employee of the Year.

John did not consider himself handicapped and just wanted to be treated like everyone else. He was very independent. John loved to read, was an avid Red Sox fan, and loved riding his bike. He would ride from Wilmington all the way to Shirley some days.

John is survived by his sister, Jean Smith and her husband Stuart of Cape Charles, Virginia, and his brother, Fred Laffin and his wife Elaine of Lowell. He was the loving uncle of 8 and great-uncle of 8. John is also survived by his sister-in-law, Harriet Rocheleau of Chelmsford, as well as many cousins and friends.
Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, August 21st, from 4-8 p.m. immediately followed by a funeral service at 8 p.m. A graveside service will be held on Thursday, August 22nd, at 10:30 a.m. in the Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.
Memorial donations in John’s name can be made to A.I.M., c/o Elizabeth Peters, 16 Fairmeadow Rd., Wilmington, MA 01887.

5 Entries in Guest Book for “John D. Laffin”

  1. Judson Miller says:

    Thoughts and prayers to the Laffin family.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    Judson Miller
    Milford, NH

  2. Anita (Rosa)Gleason says:

    Thoughts and prayers for your loss of John. Seeing his name, brought up lots of very nice memories, from a very long time ago. Anita

  3. betty and reggie bernier says:

    i remember johnny on veranda ave for a short time, i remember going over to visit, and how sweet and thoughtful johnny was. he will be in our prayers.

  4. Jim King says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Laffin family. I grew up a across from Tatersalls and remember the laffin family well. John will be in my prayers. Peace be with you…

  5. Joyce Thibault says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. John was a nice man who cared alot and helped everyone. He will be missed.

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