Ralph Edward McLaughlin, age 84, passed away Monday evening, Nov. 14, 2011, at the Palliative Care Unit at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, following a brief illness. He was surrounded by friends and family.
Ralph, the son of Marvin and Salome Bledsoe McLaughlin, was born on April 6, 1927 in Ralls, Texas. He graduated from Kemper Military High School in 1944 and served briefly in the Army before entering Texas Tech, where he graduated with a degree in finance in 1949.
Ralph lived a large and colorful life. He served as president of the Big Spring Chamber of Commerce, Big Spring ISD school trustee, a member of the Big Spring City Council and Mayor pro-tem. He also served as a long time director of Vista Bank. Ralph was president of the Big Spring Rotary Club in 1960, Rotary District Governor in 1975-76 and International Director from 1991 to 1993, as well as serving on several committees and as the Rotary Presidentâ€™s representative â€“ which allowed he and his wife, Billye, to travel and see other countries through the eyes of dignitaries and other prominent people all over the world.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Billye; three daughters, Sheryl Cox and her husband, Dr. Bruce Cox, of Big Spring, Kae McLaughlin of Austin, and Marianne Weidemann and her husband, Don, also of Austin; and one son, Scott McLaughlin and his wife, Mary Kay of Lubbock. He had six beloved grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Steve Cox and his wife, Tasha of Aurora, Colo.; Josh Edward Cox of Austin; Jennifer McLaughlin Wegner and her husband, Heath, and their daughter, Sophia Elizabeth of Big Spring; Anna McLaughlin of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Jamie and Margot Weidemann of Austin. He is also survived by his sister, Ann Orr of Chicago, Ill. and sister-in-law, Ramona McLaughlin of Lubbock.
He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ralph was preceded in death by his brother, Gene McLaughlin, and a half-brother, Arnett Ware.
There will be a funeral service at St. Paulâ€™s Episcopal Church, 1510 Avenue X, in Lubbock, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at 4:30 p.m., with visitation following in the parish hall. There will also be a committal service the following morning, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, at 11 a.m. at the columbarium of St. Maryâ€™s Episcopal Church, 1001 Goliad, Big Spring.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the Rotary Foundation.
Arrangements under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Big Spring. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com