top of page

Memoriam

Lost, but never forgotten

Screenshot_20230618_124549_Messages copy.jpg

Harold Walter McLaughlin, age 78, of Farmington, Missouri passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved father, grandfather, brother, husband, uncle, brother-in-law and friend to many.

Harry was born in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Royal Alexandra Hospital on May 30, 1945. From there, his parents rode horseback with little Harry back home to the Rams Falls, Alberta Forestry Station where our grandfather, Robert McLaughlin, was a Forestry Ranger. This was only accessible by horseback in those days. After spending his infancy and toddler years traversing the forests with his parents on horseback, he spent his childhood in Paradise Valley, Alberta, where his family farmed.

He leaves behind to celebrate his life and continue his legacy, his children: daughter Gwendolyn Clark and her husband Nobby, son Scott McLaughlin and his wife Lawna, stepson Shayne Keddy and his wife Teresa, and stepdaughter Shyre Lancia. Harry was most proud of his five beautiful granddaughters: Winter McLaughlin, Keira Lancia, Miriya McLaughlin, Logyn Clark and Gwyn Keddy. Also left behind are many who loved and adored him. Wife Bonnie McLaughlin. Sister Muriel Wiley, Brother Lorne McLaughlin, brothers-in-law Lawrence Wiley and Ross Reid, and sister-in-law Diane McLaughlin. Nieces Candace McLaughlin and Kara Gosselin. Nephews Shaun McLaughlin, Marlon Reid, Shane McLaughlin, Wade Wiley, Dallas Reid and Darren Reid. Close friends Wayne and Rossana Bloomquist, Vic Friesen, Dave Dickson, Rob and Christine Kitching, the Deaville family, the Teasdale family and the Brassington family.

Harry was predeceased by his parents, Robert McLaughlin and Elizabeth McLaughlin (nee Ritchie), his sister Janet Reid, and his baby sister Elaine Anne May McLaughlin at 22 days old in 1956, beloved dog, Delvin and James Womacks.

Harry had a successful career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Dad was chosen to take a hiatus from law enforcement duties to showcase RCMP (Mountie) horsemanship on the Musical Ride from 1969 -1970, which provided him with the opportunity to travel the world, including Japan for the World’s Fair; his stories of ethnic foods, culture and flying on the planes with the horses were epic.

He once again he was honored to join the Musical Ride during Manitoba's Centennial year of 1970. It was at this event that he met Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Ann. Each Royal chose a Mountie horse to ride. The Queen chose Harry’s horse, Diamond, and he gave her a “leg up” seeing that she was already an expert rider, he assisted her onto his horse before she galloped off for a ride. He also earned the privilege of the “Rider of the year” his name inscribed on the trophy displayed at the RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

He was in the famous Mountie Dome photograph featured on the Canadian fifty-dollar bill. The photo taken in 1970, in anticipation for Canada’s Centennial and was commissioned for initial printing in 1973 and the design continued for a few years.Harry was part of Canada’s delegation in the early 1970’s Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. Canada’s Centennial Review of 1973, Harry was on an eight man and eight horse jumping team. His horse’s name was Flame.

A few years later, he received The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal from Queen Elizabeth herself for his display of courage during a dangerous altercation, where he saved the lives of his fellow officers and civilians.

Harry was on the RCMP ERT (Emergency Response Team) during his career. It's an elite regional tactical squad of the RCMP. Highly trained in special weapons, tactics and negotiations, that are used during extremely volatile situations or terrorist actions. He was also a trained sniper.

During the Grand opening of the Vancouver Expo of 1986, Harry, was assigned to the security detail of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He also performed this duty for Canadian musical icon Bryan Adams.

Harry, with good friend and fellow RCMP colleague, Wayne Bloomquist, was on the security detail for the Kootney portion of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion world tour.

With Dad’s career, we moved a lot! Back in the early days, the RCMP moved almost every two years. Our family experienced and saw most of British Columbia, Canada. We met amazing people and made beautiful memories along the way.

 

Always ambitious, Harry attended University part-time in Williams Lake and Lillooet and completed a Certificate in Microcomputers from the University College Of The Cariboo in Lillooet in 1998.

Harry retired from the RCMP as a Staff Sergeant to accept an appointment as Chief Constable of the Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police. He always loved working with the First People, and enjoyed their culture and beautiful way of life. He even learned to speak their Secwepemc and Interior Salish languages.

After retiring from law enforcement, Harry moved to New England and became very involved with youth in agriculture; he became a 4-H Leader, working closely with the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.

He served as a former President of Essex County Youth Foundation, which provides college scholarships to deserving Massachusetts youth and still served on the scholarship committee for many years after his presidency.

As his health started to decline, Harry moved to Missouri, where he was under the watchful eye of his Step Son Dr. Shayne Keddy, a place he would call his forever home after all the moving in his career. He loved Farmington, Missouri; it was home for six years. He told us that he loved the people there, and it reminded him of Alberta, Canada. His wishes are to be buried in Farmington.

Huge appreciation to Shayne, Teresa and Gwyn Keddy and the Triplett family for taking such good care of Dad all these years. Appreciation also to Chris and Kim Carroll, for the generosity of their guest cabin for many years, where he was “the Mountie on the Mountain.” Our gratitude goes out to Dr. Cadiz for his expert overall care of Harry. He was instrumental to Harry's longevity with Scleroderma, Dr. Rao, Dr. Bogachenchu, Dr. Aruchamy, Dr. Iyer, all the ER physicians, and all the wonderful nurses and respiratory therapists that cared for him at Mercy Hospital Jefferson, Parkland Health Center, and Perry County Memorial Hospital. Special thanks goes out to the staff of Lincare Medical West Respiratory Services who sustained his every daily respiratory need over the past nearly six years. Without them, independent life and driving freely would not have been possible. Finally, we appreciate the outstanding emergency care of Saint Francois County Ambulance District, who saved his life multiple times, and the amazing staff of Maplebrook Assisted Living and Legacy Hospice who made his final days so comfortable and enjoyable.

Immense Gratitude to the First People of St’at’imc Nation, Lil’Wat Nation and Kwantlen First Nation for your drumming and healing medicine and the many prayer chains in various circles. We are so blessed to have this support.

Thank you to Duke Pfitzinger, our Funeral Director and his amazing staff at Heiligtag-Lang- Fendler Funeral Home for their care and support.

My dad touched many lives; he was always supportive and gentle. He always led by example of honor, and encouraged us to treat ourselves and everyone with grace and respect. He valued the Gospels of Jesus and lived by them.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation The Harold McLaughlin Memorial Scholarship payable to: Essex County Youth Foundation, PO Box 263, Topsfield, Massachusetts O1983

Dorothy Blanchard

Dorothy was a pillar in the Essex County 4H Foundation and the Essex County Youth Foundation, where she served as an excellent Secretary for many years. Additionally, she served as an outstanding Chair on many of the committies and was involved in numerous other volunteer activities. Dorothy excelled in her occupation as a Jr. High Schoolteacher. She is admiringly thought of by many of her students and those she assisted as the High School Class Advisor at Masconomet. Her skills earned her a "National Teacher of the Year Award. Her support of youth never wavered and she remained very active while bearing the grief of Charles' passing in 2012 until her own passing in 2015. At that time she was almost 90 years of age, still very sharp and witty and was serving as the Essex County Youth Foundation Secretary. 

Doris Cleary

Doris Cleary lived in North Andover with her husband, Harold. Doris taught canning, sewing and many other home economic projects. She was present for the National 4H Club Congress in 1928. She became involved with 4H at 9 years of age and remained involved for over 87 years. She is pictured in a photo, which hangs over the office door, of the ground breaking for the current Essex County Youth Foundation Building. Doris became the treasurer when the Foundation was formed in 1955 and served on it's board of Directors until her passing in December of 2012.

Minetta Scott

Minetta was a very bright woman who skipped grades in school and graduated in 1928, at age 19, from Framingham State College with a Teaching Degree. She married Ormond Scott in 1930 and together they faced the great depression. In 1933, at 25 years of age, Minetta went blind from a problem that could have easily been solved with antibiotics, except antibiotics were not available until 8 years later. Minetta met her new challenge with a very positive attitude. She went to the Perkins Institute For The Blind and learned braille so quickly and well that she became a Braille Teacher. She headed up several volunteer organizations as well as volunteering at the Danvers State Hospital where she taught braille to the blind residents. In fact, she logged more volunteer hours than any other volunteer in Essex County. Minetta became President of the Andover, MA Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and was the MA Representative to the National Headquarters. During her tenure she set up NFB Chapters in MA. She was also instrumental in getting laws passed to help with such things as the handicapped entrances for wheelchairs. Along with all these other activities she competently ran her own business.  She and Ormond founded Great Scott's 4H Rabbit & Cavy Club in 1964 and it grew to the largest 4H Club in the Nation for several years. The Club is still operatin under the leadership of their granddaughter, Bonnie. The Club  has led thousands of kids in a positive direction over its 52 years in existence.

In 1968, Bonnie who was raised by her grandparents, heard Minetta cry out. Her grandmother had injured her eye on a door latch. Dr. Scott, coincidentally named, performed a cornea transplant at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute. As this was one of the first cornea transplants, the New York Times took pictures and wrote an article titled "Grandmother first sees Granddaughter as a Beauty Queen." Not only did Minetta see her beautiful granddaughter as the reigning Miss Essex County, but she also saw the other amazing changes that had occurred during her 35 years of blindness. Minetta enjoyed her sight for 8 or 9 years, then totally lost it again. Nevertheless Minetta continued to be a gracious lady with a very positive attitude and a willingness to help others. 

Charles Blanchard

Charles Blanchard lived in Georgetown, MA. Charles was the 4H Extension Agent from 1947 to 1983. Under his leadership, many young people earned 4H awards on the State, Regional and National levels. He was an active Nature Educator at the 4H Camp Leslie in Georgetown, MA. He acquired the title of "Uncle Charlie" at the 4H Camp and he is still Uncle Charlie to many former 4H members. Charles led 4H member exchanges with Counties in Wisconsin and New York State. He was a guide to many Foreign Educators that visited Essex County. His is pictured in the photo, which hangs over the office door, of the ground breaking for the current Essex County Youth Building and he served several terms as President for the Foundation. 

Mike Attridge

Mike and his wife, Ellen had two children who excelled and won many awards in Great Scott's 4-H and Cavy Club. Their son, Trevor, was appointed Junior Leader and went on to become the Club President and their daughter, Veronica, became a Junior Leader as well. ECYF Members met Mike through a mutual connection with 4-H. He subsequently accepted their invitation to join. Mike is remembered as an outstanding Treasurer, who valiantly persevered through extremely difficult cancer treatments for esophageal cancer. He courageously performed his duties right up until he was taken from us at age 66.

Mike was born in Worcester, MA and raised in Somverville. He attended Saint Joseph's Elementary, Boston College High School and UMASS Amherst where he received a degree in Anthropology. While pursuing a career with Masschusetts Department of Public Health, Mike became interested in computers. He trained at the Control Data Institute becoming a computer programmer and systems architect. That career took him to the San Francisco Bay area, where he worked for several companies. Mike and Ellen decided to return to the East, however before doing so, a one year consulting opportunity came up in Dublin, Ireland. They seized that opportunity which enabled Mike to explore his roots and actually become an Irish citizen. During that year, Mike traveled to several European countries to do contract work.

Mike was an avid sailor. During summers spent at his family's cottage. He sailed his boat in Massachusetts Bay and around Cape Cod. In California he lived aboard a sailboat in Redwood City where he sailed San Francisco Bay up and down the coast. His adventures included a transoceanic passage from Kauai to San Francisco. Mike lived on a sailboat for 7 years, the last 3 1/2 of them with his wife, Ellen. Settled back in Massachusetts, Mike worked for an investment film in Boston and sailed his 23 foot sailboat around Essex Bay. 

Mike was a musician who was skilled at the flute and piano, played in a rock band and sang in a church choir.

 

Mike was incredibly interested in everybody else's story, keeping the conversation focused on the other's goals and interests. He never sought personal recognition for any of his accomplishments but instead responded to the questions of others by giving a humble yet extremely interesting account. 

bottom of page