Tom is best described as a generous family man who always put family first. He was steadfast and reliable ― the backbone of our family. Lean in stature, but very strong physically, Tom would greet others with a firm Irish handshake. He was a savvy businessman, handyman, and passionate “early adopter” of technology (DOS, Pong, Super 8 Film and the worldwide web). A self-taught computer guy, he was always willing to repair a laptop for family and friends. He was also a gifted “family historian” who videotaped personal events and distributed DVDs to many. He loved animals (especially his cats) and got a kick out of telling funny animal stories. Classic “Tom expressions” include: The more you practice, the better you get, and just my luck (Murphy’s Law). He fondly called his daughters and granddaughters Sugar.
Tom was the middle son of Edward John McLaughlin (a former Luick Dairy milkman and St. Johns Military Academy graduate once voted as “most pugnacious” by his peers) and Cecilia (Szymborski) McLaughlin (a green-eyed Polish beauty who loved to sew and make homemade cream puffs). His older brother Darroll (Feb 3, 1927 – Dec 28, 2006) taught Tom all about cars. As adults, his younger brother, Patrick (74), an avid golfer, worked with Tom in the bankruptcy field.
Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Tom attended Hales Corners Grammar School (1938-1941), St. Gerard’s Catholic School (1941-1947), Pulaski High School (1947-1948) and graduated from Venice High School in California (Class of 1951). Tom received an A.A. Degree from Pasadena City College in 1956 and a B.S. Degree from California Stage College, Los Angeles in 1958.
Tom joined the U.S. Army in 1951 and was transferred to Fort Armstrong in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. At 21, he met the love of his life, Gay (Price) McLaughlin, a sunbathing brunette (known for her cheerful whistle) on Waikiki Beach.
Married in 1955 (for 57 years), Tom and Gay had three children (Denise (Nov.7, 1959 – July 20, 2011), Deanne (51) and Doug (46). The family lived in Westlake Village, California, took annual trips to their 250 acre “Too Tired Farm” in Dufur, Oregon, and eventually moved to the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to the generosity of Tom and Gay, the farm provided cherished and lasting memories – there family and friends laughed, cried, had adventures, and generated some of their favorite and fondest memories.
Tom resided in Boring, Oregon. He is survived by his wife (Gay McLaughlin), children (Deanne McLaughlin and Doug McLaughlin), daughter-in-law (Kate McLaughlin), grandchildren (Moryah Olson , Tyler Roth , Alyx McLaughlin , Bryn McLaughlin , Drew McLaughlin ), and great-grandchildren (Nolan Olson, and Tyler’s child with Sarah Harrington, who will be born in 2013).
Tom’s physical presence will be missed. We hold onto the thought that a life lived with so much love never really ends, but goes on forever in the hearts of those who remember.
A private memorial will be held Oct 20, 2012 in Sandy, OR. The Sandy Funeral Home is managing the arrangements.
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