James Russell Laughlin
Published 5:00 am Friday, November 17, 2023
James Russell Laughlin was born Oct. 31, 1929 to Van Russell Laughlin and Marie Davis Laughlin in the small, rural West Texas town of Rule. He had one brother, Van Davis Laughlin. His grandfather and grandmother lived right up the hill from his home and provided much love and comfort throughout his life. His family were cotton farmers and although it was in his blood to do the same, his grandfather advised against it as coming times would not be good. James played football and baseball while in high school. His mother played the organ for the Methodist church. He joined the United States Air Force in 1951 during the Korean conflict. He was stationed at Lake Charles Air Base. It was during this time he met and married Mary Evelyn Nelson. They were married April, 1952. They were married 56 years. They had three children. He is survived by his children — daughter, Evelyn Montalvo and her husband Abel along with their two sons, Tim Bovay, wife Alba, and Matt Montalvo; Cindy Laughlin and husband Johnny Beaugh; son, Tobin Laughlin, wife Patricia and their three sons, Joseph and wife Bri, William and wife Taylor and third son Steven. He is survived by five great-grandchildren, Hunter, Abbey, Jace, Lucas and James Ryan.
James never had an enemy. He was very amicable and had an easy going personality. In his earlier days he played men’s fast pitch softball with the Lake Charles Stevedores and other city teams. He was also part of the adult city recreational bowling league.
He spent his 40 year career at Gulf States Utilities and retired as head of the Right of Way department.
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The Laughlin family were members of the First United Methodist Church. James always volunteered to work the toddler room during church services. He loved the little children and they loved him. He also coached his son’s PeeWee team progressing onto his Little League baseball team. Even after his son moved on, James continued to coach the Little League team leading them to several championships.
He loved to golf and hunt. He participated in many golf tournaments and went on many bird hunts to South Texas with friends and family. He loved to hunt quail, dove and duck. His favorite time was the annual Labor Day Hunt in Rule, Texas with all the Laughlin Clan. He loved crawfish boils and backyard BBQs with family. He was a simple man who lived life according to basic guideposts. He instilled those in his children. “Work hard; always tell the truth and take responsibility for your mistakes—and above all keep a good credit score. If you ever get into trouble in this life, a banker is much more likely to help you out if you have a good credit score.” I suppose that was how farmers kept their farms going in hard times.
He led a good life, loved his family and we all loved him very much.
Rest in peace our sweet Papa and Gramp.
Visitation will begin at 12 p.m. until the time of his service at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 at J.E. Hixson Funeral Home in the Chapel of Peace with the Rev. Weldon Bares officiating. Burial will follow in Consolata Cemetery in Lake Charles.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.JEHixson.com for the Laughlin family.