William Charles McLaughlin, 85, of Magnet Cove, formerly of Portsmouth, passed away January 12, 2014, at Courtyard Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation in Arkadelphia. He was born July 4, 1928, in Palmerton, Penn., to the late Harry McLaughlin and Ann Marie Martin Claussen. His was known to his friends as Bill or Mac.
Bill grew up in the Bronx where he attended school and then joined the Merchant Marines. Later he joined the Navy and retired as a chief petty officer. His last duty station was Newport. Bill served in World War II, The Korean War, and Vietnam and received many medals and honors of distinction in each conflict.
After retiring from the Navy he moved to Malvern where he worked for the HSC Road Department before retiring in 1986. Bill was a member of the American Foreign Legion, The Elks Club, The Moose Lodge, VFW post 2278, The Cootie Club and the HS Jazz Society. Bill was also an avid bowler with the 700 club at the Aquidneck Lanes in Middletown as well as Central Bowling Lanes in Hot Springs.
His greatest joy in life was spending time with his daughter Raven and planting vegetable gardens with her. He taught his granddaughter Michaela all about the different trees and plants while walking his property every day after school. He loved being outside and gardening. He also loved to take his great grandson Kolbi to feed the fish in his pond. Bill loved to collect old radios and restore them and old televisions in his spare time. He was a true junk collector and saw the value in everything.
He is predeceased in death by his parents, his wife Jerry Ross McLaughlin, and a sister, Ann Blaisdell.
Bill leaves his beloved daughter Raven [Jimmy Lee] Spurlin of Magnet Cove; a daughter, Robin Ross of Albion, NY; eight grandchildren, Dr. James Spurlin of Fargo, ND; Christa Spurlin of Malvern; Michaela Spurlin of Magnet Cove; Joseph [Chelsea] Garner of Kensett, Ark., Dakota “Kody” Henson of Mt Pine; Noah Rowlett of Albion, NY; William “Billy” [Robin] McLaughlin III of Portsmouth, and Heath McLaughlin of Fall River. He also has six great grandchildren.
Bill was cremated per his wishes. Condolences may be sent to his family at 20925 Hwy. 51, Malvern, AR 72104.