A Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Russell L. McLaughlin 88, will be conducted by Pastor Roger Claxton on Monday, June 22, 2015, at 2 p.m. Friends and family will gather from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Audubon Golf and Country Club. A private family interment of the cremains will be held at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon.
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Russell Lowell McLaughlin, was born on March 27, 1927, on a farm in Gray, to Glen and Elizabeth McLaughlin and passed away peacefully on June 5, 2015, at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Russell graduated from Audubon High School in 1944 receiving distinction as an all-around athlete. He then attended the University of Iowa, where he played Big 10 Football and was awarded second-team Allstate. In 1945, at the age of 18, he joined the Navy and served in Guam during WWII. Upon returning from war he enrolled at Westmar College where he played three sports, and was again awarded most valuable athlete. On April 5, 1947, Russell married Dorothy Peterson, the love of his life. To this union, one son and five daughters were born. Soon after marriage, Russell transferred to Drake University and continued to play ball. After he graduated from Drake in 1950, he taught and coached in Odebolt and Rockwell City. In 1955, he moved his family to Audubon where he began teaching. He also spent time coaching and refereeing during his tenure of 33 years in Audubon.
He enjoyed playing golf, poker, panning for gold, traveling, hustling pool players and especially, attending his grandchildren & great grandchildren's activities and sporting events. He traveled through most of the U.S., China, Hawaii, Alaska, Russia, Mexico, Europe, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Jamaica.
He had an 18 ft. Bayliner named "Petie" which was named after his beloved wife, Dorothy Peterson McLaughlin, who passed in 1973. Russell, traveling solo at the age of 63, took Petie down the river from Omaha to Florida. Two years later, he returned to Florida with Petie where he continued his travels to New York. After another two years, he and Petie traveled the remaining 900 miles from New York to Lake Michigan where he completed his boating trip. During his life he saved two lives, one of which was recognized by the Governor of Iowa. This July will mark the 35th consecutive summer that Russ has successfully brought the whole extended family together to vacation at the lake. This extended family that Russell and Dorothy created has grown in size to over 60 members. He always would say he was the luckiest man on earth when his family is together. A direct quote from Russell "I've been to places and seen some things I have never been to or seen before. Now that it's over, it was good! But that's it... End of story."
Preceding him in death was his wife Dorothy; his parents Glen and Elizabeth; his siblings Frank McLaughlin, Imogene Logan and Phyllis Ehlert.
Russell is survived by his son Kirk (Karen) of Sunrise Beach Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; and his 5 daughters; Holly of Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; Verna (Tom Huiskamp) of Salt Lake City, Utah; Pat (Mark Frederiksen) of Ashland Neb.; Laury (Kevin Cusick) of Burbank S.D.; and Jamie (Joel David) of Glidden; 15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 12 to June 19, 2015