A celebration of life for Billy Hugh McLaughlin will be Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 10 a.m., at the CrystalRock Cathedral with the Rev. Leroy Holman officiating. Burial will follow at the Provence Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home.
Bill was born to Thomas James and Betty Jo McLaughlin on April 8, 1944, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He passed from this life on June 14, 2013, at his residence surrounded by family and friends.
At a young age, his family moved to Imperial, California, where he was raised and graduated high school in 1962. Over the years, he never missed a class reunion.
Bill joined the United States Army in 1965 and served his country for three years, including a tour of duty in Korea. After returning from Korea, he moved back to Ardmore and married Carolyn McClure. From this marriage, they raised four children.
Following his years of service in the Army, he continued serving his country in the Oklahoma National Guard in Healdton. He served as staff sergeant over vehicle maintenance company wide, including Walters, Oklahoma. Bill was a rifle sharpshooter and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. He retired as staff sergeant from the armed forces on April 8, 2004, with a combined total of 34 years. While serving with the National Guard, he became really close with several fellow guardsmen that went to camps from California to Georgia. They are Ronald Paul, Gerald Timmons, Michael Williams, Greg Morgan, Mike Alexander, Bob Treadwell and Kenneth Tyler.
Bill married Cathy Carter on December 17, 1993, in Gainesville, Texas. They shared 19 wonderful years together.
Bill worked in construction for many years. He worked as a heavy equipment operator for A&A Equipment for 11 years, and then began employment with Carter County District #1 in 1993. In 2004, he was elected Commissioner and continued to serve until his retirement on January 31, 2013, due to health issues. During his service as commissioner, he also served on the boards of SODA, CED #3 and Ardmore Parks and Recreation.
Bill and Kenneth Hunter, brother-in-laws as well as best friends, were co-directors for the Tuesday Night Fishing Tournaments for KICM for many years at Lake Murray. One of his best fishing accomplishments was catching his personal best bass at Falcon Lake on one of his many trips.
He had a passion for golf and enjoyed and his weekends with his fellow golfers at Lakeview Golf Course, where he also served on the board.
Bill had lots of stories to tell and was loved by all that knew him. He had a heart of gold and always had a smile for everyone he met. He will truly be missed by many.
Bill was diagnosed on October 5, 2010 with ALS (also know as Lou Gehrig's Disease). Although this was devasting news, he swore he would fight it all the way. And fight it, HE DID!! He continued to do the things he loved, including work, play golf and go fishing. The disease may have taken away his physical ability, but God's grace was upon him. Bill always had a positive attitude and never lost his smile.
Page 2 of 2 - Bill was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Lynn McLaughlin; and a sister, Tommie Jo Swarthout.
He is survived by his wife, Cathy of the home; sons, Don Ellis and wife, Cristy of Ardmore, Oklahoma, Eric McLaughlin and wife, Kim of Dickson, Oklahoma; daughters, Kimberly Keeton and husband, Joe Bob of Ardmore, Oklahoma, Angie McBride of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Carrie Heath and husband, Rob of Lone Grove, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Shelby and Ariane Ellis, Nathan Parker and Allison Murphy, Jessica Smith, Emily Keeton, Megan and Abby McLaughlin, Brandon Rhyne, Josh King, Asheton and Payton McBride, Brett, Hunter and Cody Heath; and a great-granddaughter, Kloe Parker; a sister, Margaret Champlain of Braggs, Oklahoma; numerous nieces and nephews; and a special lifelong pal, Carlos Jaime, of Imperial, California.
Casket bearers will be Dale Ott, Kevin Robinson, Joe David McReynolds, Chris Jones, Mike Coffman, Brett Heath, Josh King and Nathan Parker.
Honorary casket bearers will be all Carter County District #1 Employees.
The family would like to thank the staff at Cross Timbers Hospice and the caring hands of Tina, Dorothy, Pam, LuLu, Kelly, Tabathya, Kimmie and Dr. Joe Hamill.
Online condolences may be sent to www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.