Capt. John McLaughlin, 86, career Navy officer and real estate executive

September 26, 2004|By Gina Davis | Gina Davis,SUN STAFF

Capt. John McLaughlin, a retired Navy officer and real estate executive, died of heart failure Wednesday at Memorial Hospital at Easton. He was 86.

Born and raised in Baltimore, he was a 1936 Loyola High School graduate.

He attended Loyola College during the Depression, and in 1938 he was forced to leave college and go to work because he couldn't produce the $75 he needed toward tuition, said his daughter, Shawn McLaughlin of Oxford.

He worked at Crown Cork and Seal and the Pan American Oil Co. until he joined the Navy in 1941. He retired from the Navy in 1968, having attained the rank of captain.

During World War II, he participated in the North Atlantic convoy operations, the North African campaign and seven campaigns in the Pacific.

After World War II, Captain McLaughlin had several assignments at sea. He was executive officer on the USS Beatty; navigator on the USS Iowa; commanding officer of the USS Wood; surface operations officer on the USS Forrestal; and commanding officer of the USS Nantahala. As commanding officer of the Wood, he was commended for saving lives in the town of Volos, Greece, during a series of earthquakes, his daughter said.

He later served on the staffs of the Supreme Allied Command Europe (NATO) in Paris; the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.; and the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Bangkok, Thailand. He spent his final year of military service at the Pentagon.

After retiring from the Navy, he embarked upon a career in real estate. He began working for Ryland Homes in 1968, becoming vice president of the Ryland Group in Houston before retiring in 1976.

He and his wife, the former Marjorie E. Cunningham, then moved to Easton. He later worked as a licensed Realtor for Walsh & Benson, now Benson & Mangold, before opening his own firm, McLaughlin Realty, which he ran for several years.

He was active in the Navy League, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, and was a past president of the Retired Officers Association of the Eastern Shore. He also served as vice president and president of the Izaak Walton League of Talbot County and as a board member of the YMCA.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Easton.

In addition to his wife of 57 years and daughter, he is survived by three other daughters, Patricia McLaughlin-Lentz of Westerly, R.I., Maureen Guignon of Fairfax, Va., and Mary Ellen Reutinger of Richmond, Va.; a brother, Dr. Joseph S. McLaughlin of Baltimore; and 10 grandchildren.

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