John William McLaughlin dies at 95
–At the age of 95, WWII Veteran, John William McLaughlin passed away in his home on Dec. 23, 2017 in east Paso Robles. Active until his death, “Jack” fulfilled his ambition to remain independent in his own home.
Born to David and Bonnie Iris McLaughlin on Aug. 20, 1922, Jack grew up in Southern California. He graduated from San Bernardino Senior High School in 1941, which he liked to mention was on the same street as the first McDonald restaurant. He enlisted in the Army on April 24, 1942 with the 720th Bomb Squadron (15th Air Force), with an occupation specialty of Gunnery Instructor. Serving until July 1945, Jack flew 32 missions and was shot down and forced to parachute in Italy. His US Army Air Force biography has been recorded with the Veterans History Project. He was very proud to be one of the surviving Vets to be flown back to Washington D.C. as part of the Honor Flight project in 2013 and to see the WWII monument in their honor. His name is listed on the registry there.
Jack married Dolores E. Emigh (Dee) in 1948. Dee was a bright light in Jack’s 59 years of marriage, until her death in 2007. With the assistance of neighbors, hospice and family, he was able to honor Dee’s wish to pass in her own bed, in her own beloved home.
Jack and Dee started their family in Southern California before moving to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1959. During this time, Jack was employed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, commuting to Vandenberg Air Force Base. He enjoyed asking the family to step out on the front lawn, minutes before a missile launch, to watch the take-off. He backed Dee, Sandee and Kevin’s love of horses – all three horses could be seen from the windows of their home in Santa Ynez. After his retirement in 1978, Jack and Dee took a celebratory cross-country trip before relocating to Atascadero and then Paso Robles.
In his later years, Jack loved an opportunity to sky dive, driving his stick shift Honda, spending time on the coast, the view from his home, visits from family and neighbors, golf, and time with his dog Susie. He was especially proud of the two homes he and Dee designed from the ground up (Santa Ynez and Paso Robles) and of the accomplishments of his children.
Jack is survived by his son Kevin J. McLaughlin, daughter Sandee L. McLaughlin, cousin Charlotte Jacobs, cousin Pat Williams and extended family members. He was eternally grateful to Charlotte and Pat for organizing his 90th birthday reunion where he was able to visit with dozens of his family members, from all over the country. In honor of Jack’s request, there will be no services.