1941 - 2017
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(Age 76)

Spokane attorney Dennis M. McLaughlin, a downtown Spokane icon, passed away June 20, 2017, a day that dawned as warm and sunny as his personality.
Dennis ran a private law office in the Chase Financial Building and each day strolled downtown with his pipe on his way to his various coffee groups to talk WSU Cougar football, Zags basketball, business and the grandchildren.
No one loved Spokane any more than Dennis, even though he was actually born April 1, 1941, in Moscow, Idaho, to Wesley (Mac) and Maurine McLaughlin. He attended school through the eighth grade in Pullman.
When Dennis started high school, his family moved to Spokane where he became a loyal Lewis and Clark High School Tiger. He was elected junior class president, earned the rank of Eagle Scout and attended the National Jamboree.
At Washington State University Dennis majored in political science and joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He continued his education and graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in 1966 and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as special assistant to the chief counsel of the U.S. Missile Command. He later served on the Idaho Law Advisory Council.
In 1969 he was hired as house counsel for the Association of Washington Business in Olympia, and three years later went to work for American Sign and Indicator Corp. in Spokane as vice president of legal and public affairs.
Dennis joined the firm of Lukins and Annis in 1978 and went into private practice 13 years later, specializing in business transactions, hospitality, and franchise law.
He married Pam Rogers of Clarkston, his wife of 43 years. Their son, Patrick, was born in 1975 and always made Dennis' eyes sparkle. He cheered Patrick on at football, soccer and golf tournaments. Patrick's friends loved sharing stories in his man-cave room in the basement of the house. Dennis was delighted to welcome Patrick's wife Meghan into his family, and he reveled in the charm and exuberance of their three sons, Drew (9), Cannon (6) and Hudson (3).

Dennis served as president of both the WSU Alumni Assoc. and the WSU Cougar Club in Spokane. With his friend Keith Lincoln, he led the effort to build the Lewis Alumni Centre at WSU. He was honored by the WSU Foundation with an Outstanding Service Award in 1984, and he received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 1986. His appreciation for the community led him to join Momentum, a Spokane economic development group that started in 1987. He helped form a pro-business nonprofit called Better Spokane last year. Dennis served as general counsel for the Spokane Hotel-Motel Association. The group recognized him as Tourism Professional of the Year. He was a member of Manito Golf and Country Club, Downtown Rotary, and Prosperity Club. Dennis made long and faithful commitments. He continued his private Law practice his entire adult life. He had his hair cut every month for 40 years by Betty the barber and he savored his chances to fly fish on the Montana Rivers and the St. Joe with his fishing buddies. He remained loyal to the Republican Party, and he loved his dog Beau, who he called "Lucky". Most important, he served as chief painter and gardener, as Pam redecorated the home and designed new gardens at their homes.
After a diagnosis of melanoma, Dennis was able to enjoy life for another three and a half years. He fought hard and never complained. In his last year of undergoing treatment he participated in a clinical trial at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle under the direction of Dr. John Thompson. His participation may help others survive the disease much longer. His family is grateful to Dr.Kaya, Dr. Lamoreaux and Dr. Parviz at Cancer Care Northwest and Dr. John Floyd. They also thank Touchmark Rehabilitation Services for their enduring care and kindness to Dennis during his final weeks.
He is survived by his wife Pam, son Patrick (Meghan) and three grandchildren: Drew, Cannon and Hudson. He is also survived by his brother Thomas (Gina) and their daughters, Michelle, Alexis and granddaughter, Milah, of Liberty Lake; and his brother Bob of Spokane.

Dennis left behind so many people who adored him. He looked at the good in every person and was a positive force in many lives. Our heartfelt gratitude to all of his wonderful friends who showed so much love and support to Dennis thru his journey with cancer.
A celebration of Dennis' life will be scheduled later this summer.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Dennis McLaughlin Memorial Fund, 510 W. Riverside Suite 206, Spokane, WA 99201. Donations will be used to fight cancer in our region (Community Cancer Fund) and promote business growth in Spokane (Better Spokane) or any other favorite charity. On-line guest book is at

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Published in Spokesman-Review on Jun. 25, 2017.
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