William James McLaughlin
December 17, 1946 – October 28, 2023
William James McLaughlin (“Billy Mack”), 76, of Richmond, Virginia passed October 28, 2023 peacefully cared for and comforted by his wife of 54 years, Claudette (Walton) McLaughlin. Bill was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania to William “Duke” McLaughlin and Mildred (Hanel) McLaughlin. He grew up with his sisters, Linda (McLaughlin) Markle and Jill McLaughlin, in Roscoe, Pennsylvania where he was a standout athlete in football, basketball, and baseball, a world-class teaser of his sisters, and a general mischief maker around town.
Bill graduated from Salem College (now University) in Salem, West Virginia where he played tennis. During his college summers, he worked in the Catskills with Bob Eland, who later married Bill’s cousin Mary Jo. He bitterly bemoaned cheapskate vacationers who didn’t tip, but nonetheless, he dutifully served them all while simultaneously planning the evening’s fun after work with Bob.
After college, Bill taught physical education at a junior high school in Bowie, Maryland, where he spent nearly as much time teaching as flirting with his co-worker Claudette. He married Claudette in 1969 and moved to Dunkirk, Maryland to be closer to his in-laws Charlie and Frankie Walton. He soon found that he made more money running a fruit stand and selling cars in the summer than he did teaching and he decided to enter the car business full-time in order to support his growing family.
Bill was the extremely proud father of his children, Seth McLaughlin and Jennifer (McLaughlin) Little and spent many hours making them laugh and feel deeply loved. He also had great love for Luis Uzaga of Costa Rica, who came to live with the McLaughlin family as an exchange student during Jennifer’s high school years. Bill’s success in the automobile industry led him to become the General Manager of several dealerships, including Ourisman Chevrolet and Bill Cairns Pontiac. He and Claudette traveled extensively within the United States and internationally.
Bill had a passion for good food, good wine, and good company and everyone who met him was touched by his playful personality and gentle, caring demeanor. Above all, he cherished being with his family more than anything else in life and his family loved being with him. He was greatly loved and will be dearly missed. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Linda. He is survived by his sister Jill, his wife Claudette, his son Seth, his daughter Jennifer, his son-in-law Tony Little, daughter-in-law Valerie (Stewart) McLaughlin and his grandchildren Charley, Nathan, and Bailey Little, and Vivian and Finn McLaughlin.
Bill’s family requests that donations in his name be made to a Hospice of one’s choice, or to Gideon Bibles.