Laura Ann Whirley

Laura Ann Whirley

Fair Pioneer 

Laura Ann (Waters) Whirley died at 5:26 p.m. on 5/26/2019 at the age of 82. She was born July 8, 1936 to Mary Irene (Boswell) Waters and Basil Worthington Waters, Jr. Laura Ann lived on the family farm in Redland, Md, owned by her grandmother Magruder’s family and descendants for over 200 years. She attended early elementary school in Redland until it closed and then graduated from the first new high school in Gaithersburg. In those days, there was lots less traffic and occasionally she and her brother would ride their bicycles to school, where her Daddy went by horse and buggy in his day. 

She worked for Montgomery County’s office of ASCS_USDA, administering federal farm programs for over 30 years. In the early 1960’s she became office manager, later titled, County Executive Director. Laura Ann loved “her farmers” and encouraged them to participate in programs beneficial to their farming operation. Over her years of service, she received many awards, was called by the Washington office many times to assist when writing new programs and became a trainer for the North East area.

After retirement in 1991, Laura Ann began her volunteer work. She was a member of the Agricultural Advisory Board, the County Extension Advisory Board, helped to start “Close Encounters with Agriculture,” an educational 4th grade field trip and was one of the three people who created “Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park” to teach the history of agriculture to all who visit the park. She is a life member of the Montgomery County Agricultural Center where she would take vacation from her job to work in the fair office, was a 4-H member, member of Laytonsville Homemakers and Garden Club and was a friend to many.

Laura Ann was a 5th generation member of Ascension Episcopal Church in Gaithersburg, where she sang in the choir, served on the vestry and was married on August 9, 1957 to Bobby Franklin Whirley, Sr.. Laura Ann loved the outdoors, flowers and birds, but especially the cardinal. She will be buried in the Waters plot at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, donated by her Great Grandfather Waters for the original church. 

She is survived by her husband Bobby F. Whirley, Sr, whom she was married for 61 years, her sons and daughter-in-laws, Bobby “Chip” Whirley, Jr. and his wife Heather Hull Whirley and Timothy F. Whirley and his wife Samantha Ellis Whirley and five grandchildren, Hayden Irene, Caitlyn Ann, Caroline Marie, Elizabeth Ann and Aubrey James (AJ).

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