Obituary of Merlin "Mac" McLaughlin
Merlin F. “Mac” McLaughlin, age 95, of Wedowee died October 8, 2023, at his home. He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Carolyn; his children (by his first marriage), Michael W. McLaughlin (Barbara), Steven F. McLaughlin, and Kathryn M. Roberts; his stepdaughter, Brenda L. Boone (Charles); his grand-nephew (who has lived with him since age six), Alexandre Saffelle; brother, James L. McLaughlin; sister, Carol J. Williams (Fred); ten grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren, nephews, and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents, Fred W. and Gladys L. McLaughlin; by his brother, Glen D. McLaughlin; by his sister, Beverly J. Ammons; and by a grandson, Ryan McLaughlin.
Mr. McLaughlin was born in Plover, IA, on August 14, 1928. When age eight, his family moved to Fairfax County, VA, where Mr. McLaughlin thereupon became a longtime resident, until December 2012 when he moved to Wedowee, AL. He graduated from Fairfax HS in 1945 and University of MD in June 1951 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. In August 1945, he enlisted in the US Army Reserves where he was assigned to the Army Specialized Training Program at N. GA College in Dahlonega, GA. In September 1946, he requested discharge and reenlisted in the US Regular Army, serving until February 1948. He is a recipient of the World War II Victory Medal and Sharpshooter Badge.
In 1951, Mr. McLaughlin became licensed as a Land Surveyor and commenced his own land surveying firm in 1952. In 1970, his firm merged with another to form McLaughlin Ghent Associates, practicing in surveying, engineering, and land planning. He served as president of the Virginia Association of Surveyors (VAS) in 1961, having earlier served (in 1957) as president of his local chapter of VAS. In March 1968, he received a gubernatorial commission as a member of the Virginia State Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, and Land Surveyors and was reappointed in July 1968 and July 1973 for successive five-year terms. During his tenure with the State Board, he served one year as its president and for seven years as chairman of the Land Surveyor Section. He remained very active with VAS, serving as its State Legislative chairman for about 25 years.
In 1957, Mr. McLaughlin and others founded Suburban Savings & Loan Association, headquartered in Annandale, VA. While continuing his professional practice, he also served as Suburban’s corporate secretary, a member of its board of directors, and of its executive committee. In 1979, he withdrew from his professional practice and devoted full time to Suburban, as chief of its loan division and becoming executive vice president, as well as president of two subsidiary corporations. In 1985, having grown to 13 very successful
branches, Suburban was sold by its stockholders and it merged with another firm.
Subsequently, Mr. McLaughlin became licensed as a Real Estate Broker and was active in that practice in Virginia until he finally retired in 2011. He has been a full-time resident of the Wedowee, AL, area since December 2012.
Presently a member of First Baptist Church of Wedowee, he previously held numerous offices in the Springfield (VA) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), including eight years as Treasurer, numerous years as Elder and as Trustee, and two years as Chairman of its Congregation and Official Board.
Mr. McLaughlin has been a member of Lions Clubs International since 1953. He is a past president of the Annandale (VA) Lions Club and is a Past District Governor of District 24-A. He also served four years as president and was a longtime director on the board of Sight & Hearing Mobile Screening Unit of Lions District 24-A.
He is a former president of the Annandale (VA) Chamber of Commerce, a former director on the Board of the Fairfax County (VA) Chamber of Commerce, and a former secretary and director on the Board of the Northern Virginia Builders Association.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, at 2:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Wedowee with Rev. Don Ellison officiating. Burial will follow at Wedowee City Cemetery with Benefield Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers will be Michael McLaughlin, Steve McLaughlin, Alex Saffelle, Charlie Boone, Daniel Boone, and John Longo.
The family will receive friends at the church from 1:00-2:00 PM on Wednesday before services begin.