KINSTON - On Friday, July 19, 2013, James Robert McLaughlin of Kinston, N.C. passed away after a long illness, three months shy of his 95th birthday. James was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on October 22, 1918. Called "Bob" by his family, he didn't learn that his first name was actually James until he requested a birth certificate so he could play baseball when he was 12 years old. Bob graduated from Cathedral High School, in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1935. It was in high school that he met Winifred; they were married in October 1940. Bob worked for the state of New Jersey until he joined the Navy in 1940. He served during WWII, and remained on active duty until 1946, retiring from the Reserve as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 after 20 years of service. Following his service he returned to New Jersey and began working for Ford Motor Company while completing his BS degree from Rutgers University. He rooted for the Philadelphia Phillies in those days. In 1954 Bob accepted a position with Ford in Washington, D.C. and the family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland where his baseball allegiance eventually shifted to the Washington Senators. A widower in 1972, Bob married Betty Durham in 1977 and they retired to Kinston, North Carolina. Bob's family extended to include Betty's children, Alfred Durham and Mary Lynn Durham Roj and their families. In Kinston, Bob and Betty enjoyed golf, tennis, bridge, and a few travel adventures. A widower again in 2003, Bob became a lunch time regular at the Kinston Country Club, continued to keep his bridge skills sharp with regular games, and to monitor the fortunes of the Kinston Indians. The company of good friends, and thoughtful neighbors, as well as news and visits from his far-flung family gave him much pleasure during these years. Those who love him will miss his wit, his engaging smile, his easy-going manner, his sharp mind, and his wicked backhand. Bob is survived by his son, Robert McLaughlin of Machipongo, Va.; daughter Helen Lechner of Palo Alto, Calif.; grandchildren James McLaughlin, Chris McLaughlin, Barbara McNiff and Marianne McLaughlin; and 10 great-grandchildren. After mass at Old Saint John's Catholic Church on July 29, 2013, at 11 a.m.; 9700 Rosensteel Ave. Forest Glen, MD 20910, the burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring. In lieu of flowers, please send a contribution to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America online at www.alzfdn.org. Arrangements are with Edwards Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at Kinston.com (Paid obituary)
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Published in Free Press from July 26 to July 29, 2013