Howard J. “Mac” McLaughlin, (Colonel, USAF Ret.) after a life lived well, is dancing with his favorite Angel, Marilyn, in heaven. Howard, born in the southern Indiana town of Huntingburg on September 26, 1933, was a man of God, family and country.
Howard married Marilyn Pflug, his high-school sweetheart and “the lady of the house,” in 1955. Their love story was an inspiration to many, including their three children and their spouses, Scot and Michele McLaughlin, Lisa and Bill Molinsky, and Susan and Dennis Watts, seven grandchildren and spouses, Brandon and Michelle, Kristen and Alex, Jared and Jordan, Garrett and Jennifer, Kennedi, Megan, Tate and eight great-grandchildren.
Howard was raised by his mother, Rosalia after the passing of his father, John, when Howard was a young boy. Howard was a star athlete, a natural leader and fiercely competitive. He loved Indiana basketball, playing and coaching baseball, and spending time with friends. He had a penchant for logistics, created a drink concoction called the “streaker,” and was fondly known for his humerous catch-phrases. Howard loved watching his children and grandchildren play sports or use their artistic talents, he loved dogs, and visits with family ended with a big hug and an “I love you.” Always.
Howard attended the University of Detroit on a baseball scholarship and was initiated in the University’s Hall of Fame. Howard also had a very brief stint as a professional baseball player before becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. For 30 years he served the country he loved with honor, traveling the world, and seeing the wonders of this earth and humanity, as well as the horrors of war. Howard received numerous awards during his career including the Defense Superior Service Medal.
After he retired, Howard filled his days golfing with friends, reading, wood-working projects, going to high school football games and traveling with Marilyn to see grandkids. Howard and Marilyn were blessed with life-long friendships from their school and college days, their various assignments here and abroad, and from St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, where Howard served on the Parish Council and as a lector. They cherished these friendships deeply.
Later in life, Howard was diagnosed with dementia. As devastating as this disease can be, Howard kept his wry sense of humor and beat back the disease by not allowing it to steal his faith or his love for family. Our family is very grateful to the many caregivers who helped Dad during his last journey.
There will be a celebration of his life and a graveside service with military honors at Resthaven Funeral Home and Memory Gardens beginning at 11:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held prior to the memorial.
The family has designated the Alzheimer’s Association for memorial contributions.