LIBERTY TWP. - Richard (Dick) McLaughlin, age 85, passed away from congestive heart failure Sunday morning at home surrounded by his family.
Dick graduated from Ursuline High School in 1952, served 2 years in the US Army and graduated from Youngstown College in 1958. He attended Georgetown University School of Law in Washington DC, graduating in 1962 with his Juris Doctor degree. He received a Masters of Labor Law degree in 1964, also from Georgetown. While in law school, he worked for the Department of Labor. Upon graduation, he joined a DC law firm. In 1968, he was appointed General Counsel for Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Dick was a Civil Rights activist and was proud to tell stories about his involvement in Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. He was front and center for the “I Have a Dream” speech. He and his wife attended John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration, as well as his funeral. Dick remained active in the Democratic Party and politics throughout his entire life.
He and his family returned to Youngstown in 1969 where he established himself as a lawyer. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for US Congress in both 1970 and 1972.
Dick was very active in his community. He founded the Mahoning Valley Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America in 1970 and served as President for 33 years. He served on the Board of the Youngstown Symphony, the Youngstown Playhouse and the Butler Art Museum. He was the Membership Chairman of the YMCA. Dick proudly served a 9 year term on the Board of Trustees at Youngstown State University, and for 2 years was the Chairman of the Board. He was also on the YSU Alumni Association Board of Trustees and the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees. He was a Board member of the Assumption Nursing Home; he was also an active member of the Mill Creek Children’s Center, Goodwill Industries, and St. Edward Parish Council.
Dick founded Mahoning Valley Cablevision in 1970, which became Time Warner and is now Spectrum cable. He was co-founder of CTNY (Catholic Television Network of Youngstown) where he served as President for 7 years.
Upon his retirement in 2016, his law firm, McLaughlin and McNally, merged with Roth-Blair. In his retired years, he enjoyed writing his memoir, From The Rearview Mirror, which was published and distributed to family. One of the highlights of each month, was his get together with his “lunch bunch”, where they discussed current events, focusing on politics. Along with his other interests, he was able to devote time to his love of Impressionism art
In 1960, he married the love of his life, the former Betty McLaughlin at St. Edward Church, where they are still active members. The couple have 4 children, Kelly McLaughlin, Cleveland; Richard (Carmen), Florida; Christopher (Gina), Liberty and Molly Burdette (Jamie), Hubbard. 14 grandchildren; Mickey (Jason) Thomas, Tim Gruscinski, Kevin (Sarah) Gruscinski; Nastasia, Killian, Savannah-Jane McLaughlin, France; Sean, Christy, Erin, Patrick McLaughlin; Brendan, Katie, Colin, Brigid Burdette and two great-grandsons, Bennett James and Jack Richard Burdette.
Dick cherished his summer months at Conneaut Lake PA where he spent countless days teaching dozens of nieces, nephews and friends to water ski and countless evenings appreciating another beautiful sunset with family and friends. Dick loved to travel with family and/or with friends. He had wonderful trips that left lasting memories. He and Betty loved having the family over for cookouts, especially Jamie Burdette’s famous ribs and fries. He loved hosting Holiday gatherings in the family home, where each guest was made to feel at home. Dick was dog-lover and was often seen walking down Fifth Ave with one of his dogs.
Dick leaves his wife, Betty, his sister, Jeanne McLaughlin Foley and brother Jim McLaughlin,and a multitude of nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death, his parents, Vincent and Elizabeth (McEvoy) McLaughlin, sisters Mary Helen (Jack) McMahon, Kay (“Bud”) Heames, Rita (Jim) Ryan, Anne (Frank) Flannery, Sue (Chuck) Johnson and Lenore (Jim) Nagle. Brother Vincent (Margaret).
There will be a private family mass on Thursday August 13th at 11:00 am at St. Edward Church. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St Edward Parish, 240 Tod Ln Youngstown OH 44504 or Youngstown State University General Studies Program, Deans Office DeBartolo Hall, One University Plaza, Youngstown Ohio 44555. Please wear a mask if able and practice social distancing.
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old time is still a-flying. And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying” Robert Herrick
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