Retired judge James Laughlin passed away Monday, February 10, at his home. He was born in Tulsa to James Guy and Lillian Laughlin but spent his childhood in the Ramona area, graduating from Ramona High School in 1945. After a two-year stint in the navy, he completed undergraduate studies at Oklahoma Baptist University and then entered law school at University of Oklahoma where he wrote for the Law Review and was a recipient of the Logan Scholarship. Graduating in 1953, he married Helen Elliott of Oklahoma City. They celebrated their 60th anniversary last May.
He practiced law with the late Richard K. Harris prior to being elected District Attorney, serving 1957-1958. In private practice until 1975, he served as part time Federal Magistrate for Bartlesville District for four years. In 1974 he was elected Associate District Judge and retired in 1983. As judge, he worked with the Cherokee Nation Center, setting up a DUI school to help treat those having problems with alcoholism. In March of 1990, he and Helen joined the 55 Plus Activity Center when it was first organized and he served on a committee to help secure funding for the Center. Winters during retirement were spent in the Aransas Pass/Rockport Texas area where he loved fishing the inter-coastal waterways.During the summer,a large garden occupied his time where he raised vegetables for family, friends and extra to give to food programs.
Survivors include his wife and children Michael (Mike) Laughlin, wife Belva, Eagle, ID; Jeff Laughlin, Wife Carolyn, Kiev, Ukraine; Kelly Laughlin Lowen, husband Dan, Ashburn, VA. Grandchildren are Sarah Laughlin, Tulsa, OK; Jessica Stevens, husband Jordan, Rogers, AR; Capt. Jeffrey Laughlin US Army, wife Anne, Fayetteville, NC; Robert Jacob Laughlin, Sunland, CA; Anna Laughlin, Manhattan, KS; John Erik Laughlin, Kiev; Rachel Lowen Jacob, husband Abhishek Jacob, Ashburn, VA; 1st.Lt. Matthew Lowen, USMC, fiance Samantha Caplan, San Diego, CA; Marc Lowen, wife Kelly, Stanford, CA; Grace Lowen, Charlottesville, VA; Jessica Lowen, Harrisonburg, VA; Amy Lowen, Ashburn, VA., and a great-grandchild Lily Stevens. He is also survived by a brother, Ben Laughlin and wife Lily of Homer, Alaska and a sister Nancy Limes of Austin, TX.
At his request, Laughlin's remains have been donated to the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center for medical research. Private family services are being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Rivercross Hospice, 3723 SE Frank Phillips Blvd. Bartlesville, OK 74006, or