Gertrude Laughlin Chanler
Meridian House Founder
Gertrude Laughlin Chanler, 85, who donated Meridian House, her family's residence in Northwest Washington, to found what is now the Meridian International Center, a cultural and educational organization, died of a stroke Dec. 17 at her home in Geneseo, N.Y.
Mrs. Chanler was born in London, where her father, Irwin B. Laughlin, was a diplomat in the U.S. Embassy. The family moved to Washington when she was 7, and her father built Meridian House. Mrs. Chanler lived there until her marriage in 1937 to Hubert W. Chanler, a Navy officer.
She accompanied her husband to various naval bases and was in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, bringing the United States into World War II.
From 1950 to 1958, the Chanlers lived in Geneseo. They moved to Washington in 1958 after the death of Mrs. Chanler's mother, Therese Iselin Chanler, and remained here until about 1970.
It was during that period that Mrs. Chanler turned Meridian House into an educational center and was a founding member of its board of directors. It was called Meridian House International until it acquired a neighboring property and changed its name to the Meridian International Center.
Mrs. Chanler also served on the board of what is now the Washington Home.
Her husband died in 1974.
Survivors include eight children, Elizabeth Chatwin of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, John W. Chanler and Oliver Chanler, both of Geneseo, Adrian Chanler of Charleston, S.C., Alexander Chanler of Andover, Mass., Felicity Young of Lenox, Mass., and Gay Chanler and Alida Dierker, both of Flagstaff, Ariz.; and 13 grandchildren.
David P. Kent
Union Editorial Official
David P. Kent, 61, an editorial staff official for the Communications Workers of America since 1966, died of cancer Dec. 31 at his home in Alexandria. Mr. Kent was associate editor of the CWA News, the official newspaper of the 630,000-member union, which represents employees in telecommunications, journalism and broadcasting in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
In 1990, he received the Max Steinbock Award of the International Labor Communications Association for a series on an AT&T plant in Matamoros, Mexico, to which work had been shifted after AT&T closed a plant in Radford, Va.
A native of St. Joseph, Mo., Mr. Kent attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper before joining the CWA.
His first wife, Roberta Kent, died in the mid-1980s.
Survivors include his wife of 11 years, Carol Ann Kent of Alexandria; two children from his first marriage, Gregory G. Kent of Dale City and Sandra V. Golden of Arcadia, Fla.; and three grandchildren.
Daphne I. Hill
Bookkeeper and Accountant
Daphne I. Hill, 77, a bookkeeper and accountant at the National Council on the Aging in Washington from the mid-1970s to mid-'80s, died Jan. 1 at her home in Prince Frederick after a stroke.
She was born in London, where she was an air raid warden during World War II. After coming to the Washington area in 1946, she was a bookkeeper for the old All-Service Rentals from the late 1950s to mid-'60s and then spent a decade at Lerner Companies developers.
Her hobbies included gardening.
Her husband, Harvey D. Hill, died in 1986. Survivors include two sons, James P. Hill of Glen Allen, Va., and Robert G. Hill of Pohoa, Hawaii; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A son, Edward J. Hill, died in 1987.
Public Affairs Officer
Fraser Barron, 62, a specialist on political trends and legislative strategies with Cassidy & Associates public affairs, died of lymphoma Dec. 13 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia.
Mr. Barron, who lived in Arlington, was born in Orange, N.J. He graduated from Princeton University and Harvard University law school.
In the 1960s, he came to Washington and worked on the congressional affairs staff of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, then served on the staff of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.). Later he published and edited a newsletter and served as assistant to the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. He joined Cassidy & Associates in 1992.
Survivors include his mother, Francis Byers Barron of Charlottesville; and three brothers.