Marguerite Pearl McLaughlin, 91, passed away Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Marguerite was born Oct. 15, 1928, to Harvey and Luella Miller, in Ontonagon, Mich. In 1945, she graduated from Bergland High School and continued working in the family grocery store in the township of Matchwood, Mich.
She married the love of her life, Bruce McLaughlin, of Trout Creek, Mich., on Oct. 18, 1947, in Ewen, Mich. They remained in Trout Creek, where their daughter Pam was born in 1948, and son Mick was born in 1951. The family of four moved to Orofino in 1952, where their youngest daughter, Cindy, was born in 1957.
Marguerite dedicated her life to serving both her family and community. She and Bruce opened their business, McLaughlin Logging Co., in 1958, where she served as secretary and treasurer for many years.
While raising her children and two nieces, she created and taught the first Orofino kindergarten at the local VFW, was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and taught Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes at St. Theresa’s of Little Flower Catholic Church.
She was a lifelong Democrat who served two terms in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1979 to 1982, followed by nine terms in the Senate from 1983 to 2000. During her time in the Legislature, she served as Senate minority leader, as well as sitting on the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, Commerce and Human Resources Committee, State Affairs Committee, Governor’s Advisory Committee on Employee Compensation, State Endowment Fund Investment Board, Idaho Job Training Council, Board of Environmental Quality, Orofino School Board, PEO Board and multiple hospital boards.
She represented Idaho as the chairwoman of the Western State Forestry Task Force, and after retiring from the Legislature, served 10 years as a councilwoman for the city of Orofino.
Her professional accomplishments have been honored through multiple awards, including the Cecil D. Andrus Statesmanship Award, an honorary degree from Lewis-Clark State College, Region 11 Business and Professional Women’s “Woman of Progress,” and Clearwater County’s “Woman of the Year.”
Marguerite was an avid member of St. Theresa’s of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Orofino, and served as a past president of St. Theresa’s Council of Catholic Women as well as president of the North Central Deanery.
Arguably her greatest accomplishment is bringing a small family to Idaho from northern Michigan and growing it into a close-knit family of 40.
Her moral conviction, fierce independence and loving demeanor continues to shine through in all of those she has left behind.
She is survived by her son, Mick (Mary Anne) McLaughlin; daughter Cindy (Jerry) Francisco; son-in-law Robbie Clift; grandchildren Michelle (Chad) Nettleton, Joni (Kieth Zalewski) Francisco, Lexi (Jake) Maetche, Bruce (Andrea) McLaughlin, Timberly Clift, Molly (Austin) Waters, Andrea (Brandt) Fuller and Nate (Tawnee) Francisco; great-grandchildren Jaelyn, Dayna, Lyla, Jack, Maddy, Rumor, Katie, Ava, A.J., Jarret, Brielle, Kase, Lily, Bruce, Owen, Ally and baby Francisco on the way.
She is also survived by nieces Donelle Napier and Kitty Krajnak, along with numerous other nieces and nephews; and her beloved kitten, Louie.
Marguerite was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bruce McLaughlin; daughter Pam Clift; sister Verna Napier; and brothers Red Miller and Eugene Miller.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at St. Theresa’s Church in Orofino.
Memorials may be made in Marguerite’s name to VFW Post No. 3296, P.O. Box 1270, Orofino, Idaho 83544; and St. Theresa of the Little Flower Parish, P.O. Box 1169, Orofino.