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John Francis McLaughlin


1968 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
John Francis McLaughlin Obituary
John Francis McLaughlin December 15, 1968 - August 29, 2018 SAN DIEGO A redwood has fallen in the wood. And it is we who are shatteredOur dearest John is gone. And if ever there was a greater loss to family and friends our hearts and minds cannot begin to fathom it. John McLaughlin passed away on August 29, at his family home in Point Loma, following a protracted three-year battle with cancer. John was born at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. on December 15, 1968. His family subsequently moved to San Diego, whereupon John enrolled at Sacred Heart Academy. It was there that he received his first Holy Communion. He later attended St. Charles Borromeo Academy, where he was an altar boy. While growing into his teen years, John straddled the line between Point Loma and Ocean Beach. In most respects he was an "O.B. boy." It was there that he began a lifelong romance with surfing. It became a passion that would take him from "Dawn Patrol" at Sunset Cliffs to the far-flung shores of Baja, Costa Rica, and Tonga. John was a true "waterman," at home with the sand between his toes. But by the time he reached Point Loma High School, he had also begun to distinguish himself as a multi-talented athlete. It's fair to say that John was a polymath, excelling at whatever path he chose to pursue in life. As a freshman in high school he took up golf. Four years later he would advance to the CIF Finals at Singing Hills where his first day score of 70 left him tied for the lead, and three strokes ahead of future Hall of Famer, Phil Mickelson. John was simply that good. To all who knew him he was Superman in disguisea man without pretenseClark Kent in flannels. But when called to action there was seemingly nothing that he couldn't do. John later played golf for Loyola Marymount prior to transferring to USC, where he pledged Phi Gamma Delta ("Fiji forever!") and graduated a Trojan. At heart John was an Irishman. But the love that this favored Son of Saint Patrick felt for USC was so great that he learned in time to become a "Notre Dame Hater." Indeed, it can be argued that this was a true show of Trojan fealty, coming from a descendant of the ould sod. Following graduation from the Marshall School of Business, John entered the financial services industry and pursued a very successful career with Prudential Securities and Ameriprise, among others. And then John's life took yet another remarkable turn. He discovered martial arts, specifically, Jiu Jitsu. And once again he excelled. In 2010 at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation's American National Championship John won his Blue Belt division title. And shortly after receiving his medical diagnosis and beginning chemo he was awarded his Black Belt. A true champion can never be denied. Rudyard Kipling no doubt had the likes of John in mind when he penned "If"."If you can meet with Triumph and DisasterAnd treat those two imposters just the same;If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in youExcept the Will which says to them: Hold on!'If you can fill the unforgiving minuteWith sixty seconds' worth of distance runYours is the Earth and everything that's in it, Andwhich is moreyou'll be a Man, my son!"John McLaughlin was just such a Man. We miss him soJohn was predeceased by his sister, Cindy. He is survived by his wife, Peg, sons, Sean and Will, parents, Dorene and Rick, sister, Casey, and uncles, Skip and John.A Celebration of Life will take place at Sacred Heart Church, 4776 Saratoga St. in Ocean Beach, at noon, September 15, 2018. A reception will immediately follow at 3652 Garrison St. Donations may be made to (800-805-5856; stjude.org).
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2018
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