Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ralph Dale Laughlin 1943-2012

Ralph Dale Laughlin, son of the late James Ralph and Pauline Elizabeth (Ransom) Laughlin, was born November 8, 1943 in Camdenton, Missouri. Ralph grew up in Camdenton and graduated from Camdenton High School in 1961. While in school, Ralph played on the very first football team for Camdenton. He also played basketball and participated in track.

After graduating from high school, Ralph attended Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg and graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor Degree in Education. He then began his teaching career. He taught physical education in Richland for three years, Waynesville East Elementary School for six years, and then served as principal for the next twenty-two years at Pence Kindergarten School, Williams, Pick and Wood Middle School. In 1970, Ralph obtained his Master’s Degree and his specialist certificate from University of Columbia in 1981. He retired in 1996.

On November 28, 1964, Ralph married the love of his life, Barbara Ellen Meads in Camdenton, Missouri. They shared over 47 years of marriage together and were blessed with one son James Randall Laughlin.

After retiring from the school system, Ralph had the time to do the things that he loved to do. His biggest pleasure was playing golf. The highlight of his golfing years was being able to play at Pebble Beach. He spent 20+ years playing with John Cox and Jim Beckner.

Ralph also enjoyed traveling extensively with Barbara, the Beckners and the Coxes. They always enjoyed their times together. He also liked to watch all kinds of sports on television and going to baseball games.

At an early age, Ralph made an important decision in his life and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Ralph was a very active member of the Westside Baptist Church of Waynesville. He served as deacon and sang in the church choir for 37 years. Since 1995, Ralph was very involved with the Gideons where he held various positions in the organization and also served as State Scripture Chairman.

Ralph went home to be with his Lord the evening of Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in his home after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He had attained the age of 68 years, 5 months and 9 days. He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by all those that knew and loved him.

Ralph leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Barbara Laughlin of the home; one son: James Randall Laughlin (Christine) of Columbia, MO; mother-in-law: Jewell Meads of Camdenton, MO; one brother: Jerol Laughlin (Sandy) of Camdenton, MO; one grandson: Aden; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by two sisters: Mary Patricia Laughlin and Carol Bea Dye.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012 in the Westside Baptist Church of Waynesville with Pastor John Shaw and Pastor Lindell Shelden officiating. Ralph’s dear friend, Jim Beckner recalled his wonderful memories of Ralph. Ralph’s son, Randy also gave a beautiful eulogy of his dad. Mike Freeman, Becky Lercher and Greg Gabel sang “If You Only Knew”, “Yes I Am” and led the congregation in singing “What A Day That Will Be”. Pianist Renita DeMalade played the prelude and postlude. Serving as escorts were Jeff and Matt Laughlin, John Cox, Steve Tuckness, Marvin Long and Don Brown. Serving as honorary escorts were Dwight Hensley, Kenny Foster, Jim Bales and Paul Lowe.

Burial followed in the Laughlin Cemetery of Camdenton, Missouri. Services were under the direction of Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Waynesville / St. Robert.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Ralph Laughlin to the Gideons International, Westside Baptist Church Building Fund or the American Cancer Society and may be left at the funeral home.

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