Gene R. McLaughlin, a long time Kansas City resident, died Friday September 29th in his home at Claridge Court at the age of 93. Memorial services will be held on Friday, October 6th at 2:30 p.m. at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W 13th St., Kansas City, Missouri. A private inurnment will be held prior to services.
Gene was born in Toronto, Kansas on November 6th, 1923. When he was eight years old his family moved to Coffeyville, Kansas where he lived until 1942.
Gene left Coffeyville to attend the University of Kansas. While he was a freshman student he enlisted in the Army Air Force Pilot training program. He completed pilot training and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in June 1944. As pilot of a B-17G, he and his crew completed 35 combat bombing missions over Germany during World War II. Lt. McLaughlin was a member of the 96th Bomb Group which received three Presidential Unit Citations for outstanding service. He was also awarded the Air Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters for meritorious wartime service.
Upon wars end in 1945, he resumed his college studies at the University of Kansas. Gene, known by his friends as Mac, was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity where he served three terms as chapter president. Mac was one of six undergraduates in the nation to be elected through the fraternity’s national governing body on which he served two terms.
Upon graduating in 1949 he married Elizabeth (Betty) Berry and they settled in Kansas City. Mac and Betty had three children together, Berry, Jay, and Douglas. Mac was President of the Carl Berry Oil company, a distributor of refined petroleum products, and was also co-owner of the National Fuel Oil Company. He retired in 1987. Mac was a member of the Kansas City Country Club, the River Club, & a former member of the University Club.
He and his wife enjoyed many years of domestic and foreign travel until her untimely death in 1997. Traveling with family and friends continued to bring Mac immense joy throughout his life. Mac was a dedicated father, grandfather, and businessman. Mac was a man of character and is already greatly missed by many. He will be remembered for his kindness, fairness, and sense of humor. Mac was also preceded in death by his two sons, Douglas, & Berry. Mac is survived by his daughter Jay M. Haugh and her husband Dan Haugh of Lawrence, Kansas, and his granddaughters Alden & Emily Haugh of Kansas City who he absolutely adored. Mac’s family is forever grateful for the kindness, care, and friendship shown to Mac by Lydia Crady, Joe Allen, and the staff at Claridge Court. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Grace and Holy, The Salvation Army, or the charity of your choice.