Obituary: Traudl Lafferty
March 2, 1940 – October 18, 2021
Gertraud, Traudl as she was known, was born in Germany in 1940. She had a very colorful life. She spent her childhood in Bavaria near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Growing up during the war Traudl developed a keen respect for never wasting a thing. Her mother instilled a strong sense of self sufficiency in her along with a deep appreciation of beauty. These qualities served her well when she opened an antique shop in Eugene.
Traudl arrived in the United States in 1964 having secured a job as a Lowenbrau Hostess at the New York Worlds Fair. After the Fair she traveled on to Chicago at the suggestion of acquaintances she had met in New York. There she got a job at the Jewish Hospital in Chicago and lived at the YMCA. She recalled stories of that time and of meeting Barbara Streisand and Sammy Davis Jr. when they were patients at the Hospital.
While in Chicago she heard of the new town in the Rocky Mountains, Vail, Colorado. Vail was designed and developed as a European ski town and if you were young, had an accent and could ski you had a job! She was 24 years old when she arrived in Vail, having bought a one way ticket on a Greyhound Bus. Traudl experienced Vail during its heyday meeting a fascinating array of talented and accomplished people. Traudl was considered a “Vail Pioneer” being and early resident and living there for over 20 years.
It was in Vail that Traudl met Ralph Lafferty. They were married on New Years Eve in 1977 and eventually settled in Eugene in 1983. Through Ralph’s involvement in Rotary they traveled extensively throughout the world. Traudl was multilingual, this combined with her warm personality and a keen interest in people of all cultures served her very well.
Traudl was preceded in death by her husband Ralph in 2012. She is survived by her brother Johan in Germany and Ralph’s seven children.