Ron McLaughlin died Wednesday morning, and the Township is poorer for it

Posted on January 23, 2009

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Ronald K. McLaughlin died on the morning of January 21, 2009, after a long illness. The Eastport Market is in mourning. Ron had been a “regular” for a long time, sometimes coming in more than once a day, always with his daughter and caregiver Jill. He was given to wisecracks, and Jill inherited the tendency. The affectionate banter between them was highly entertaining. “Here comes trouble,” Ron would announce as he came in the door. Leaning on the shopping cart for support, he’d propel himself through the aisles, grousing amiably about the weather, the dismal quality of the service, the outrageous prices, the way that Jill neglected him shamefully/drove him crazy fussing over him, take your pick – all with a gleam in his eye. Everyone learned to give it back in fair measure. All the women flirted with him. The rascal was irresistible.

Ron turned 80 last year. Long ago when a group of volunteers organized Torch Bay Ambulance, he was a part of it. And now he’s gone, leaving a big Ron-shaped emptiness in this small community. There will be a service at 1:00 pm on Saturday at Mortensen Funeral Home in Central Lake. Ken Ernst will officiate. Neighbors and friends will gather to comfort Jill and her brothers and sister, and the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren. People will tell “Ron stories.” Sometime in the spring there will be an interment at Lakeview Cemetery. If you would like to memorialize Ron, his family asks that you make a donation to Munson Hospice in his name.