John M. Taylor Funeral Home

147 Duke OF Gloucester ST, Annapolis, MD


Helen Shirley "Lyn" Haefner

May 4, 1930June 21, 2020

Helen Shirley “Lyn” Haefner

Longtime Annapolitan, Lyn Haefner, 90, succumbed to pneumonia at UM Prince George’s Hospital Center on June 21, 2020, after a valiant 83-day fight during which she could have no visitors. She was born in Seattle, WA, on May 4, 1930 to Steffine and Hans Birkland, and grew up in Seattle and spent summers at her uncles’ farm near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

She attended the University of Washington and was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. After college, she moved to San Francisco, CA, where she met her future husband, Richard (Dick) Haefner, who predeceased her. They married in 1955 and moved back east a few years later. In 1969, they moved to Southgate Avenue in Annapolis, a neighborhood and a home they loved for many years. She had been a resident of Heritage Harbour since 2003.

After her children were born, she became a homemaker, volunteering at their schools and with other organizations. In the early 1980s her husband opened an advertising agency in town and she became his bookkeeper. She kept books for his wine tasting groups as well. Gracious hosts and gourmet cooks, she and Dick loved to entertain and their homes were always full of good people, good food, good drink, and oftentimes a yappy little Yorkshire Terrier.

She loved to travel and made it to five continents, enjoying cruises in the Mediterranean, Australia and New Zealand, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and up to Canada, visiting family in Norway and cruising up the coast, walking the Great Wall in China, visiting vineyards in France and Italy, celebrating at Oktoberfest in Germany, taking in culture in Guatemala, climbing Machu Picchu in Peru, and many other adventures. She had also been in most, if not all, of the 50 states. She was a past president of the Panhellenic Club of Annapolis, and belonged to various dining and wine clubs. She played bridge at the Annapolis Yacht Club the last Tuesday of every month for decades. For over 40 years, she enjoyed season tickets to the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore and before that the Morris Mechanic Theatre.

She enjoyed the camaraderie at Heritage Harbour, and kept active with bridge, maj jongg, book club, dining club, water aerobics, and various other social activities.

Survived by her son Richard Haefner (Kathy), daughter Leigh Dempsey (Bill), grandsons Harrison Dempsey, Christopher Dempsey (Kaitlyn), Patrick Haefner and Kevin Haefner, her niece Diane Sumi, her cousins Inez Lilleoren and Birgit Tellefson, and various other family members. Her sister Beatrice DeMaris passed away just 9 days before she did.

She was a wonderful, generous and involved mother and grandmother, and considered herself lucky that her children both lived in town. She enjoyed taking her grandsons out to dinner. She loved all parties and celebrations, family vacations, family visitors, her pets, games, baking Christmas cookies, and just kicking back with a good Manhattan. She made a mean Gravlox. She will be sorely missed by her family and her many friends.

Due to COVID-19, no celebration is planned at this time. Please visit www.johntaylorfuneralhome.com to leave condolences for the family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Helen Shirley "Lyn" Haefner

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Pat MacDonald

June 25, 2020

Dear Lyn, We are all missing you at Broadcreek Condo, especially your Dining Club friends, your bridge friends, your dining club gals, and your mahjong friends. You were always caring as a social person, inviting people to your condo for cocktails and/or dinner, and your wonderful Christmas cookies each year. I have hardly touched the surface of what you are about but will always remember you as a kind, strong willed person who cared about people and told it "like it was"!
Pat MacDonald