In Memory of





Obituary for James Joseph McLaughlin, Jr

James J. McLaughlin, Jr., peacefully passed to eternal life on January 5, 2022 at the age of 101. James was born on October 12, 1920, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the oldest of 6 children. He is predeceased by his parents James and Clara, sister Claire, brothers Paul and Tom, and his beloved wife of 67 years, Mercedes (Moore) McLaughlin.

James is survived by his brothers Glenn and Ron, his 5 sons, James III (Judy), Robert (Pat), Mark (Cindy), Kevin and Sean (Michelle), as well as his 2 daughters Mary Ellen Neer and Kelly McLaughlin. He was especially proud to be grandfather to his 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, and Uncle Jim to his many nieces and nephews.

James enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 10, 1940. James married his sweetheart, Mercedes Moore, on September 11, 1942, just before shipping off to battle. He spent the next 27 years in service to his Country in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

During World War II he was with the 1st Marine Division. He was involved in multiple Pacific Campaigns, including the Battle of Okinawa and Guadalcanal. In Korea he was in the battle at the Chosin Reservoir.

In his career he earned the Presidential Unit Citation with 5 stars, Good Conduct Medal with 5 stars, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 stars, WWII Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 star, Korean Service Medal with 6 stars, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Pistol Medal, Silver Rifle Medal, and the Lloyd Trophy Medal.

After suffering the bitter cold at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, James wanted to move somewhere warm after retirement. James retired in May 1967 at the rank of Major and relocated his family from Norfolk, Virginia to Tustin, California.

After his military service, James also had a rewarding career working for Parker Hannifin Corporation for 12 years where he worked as a test engineer on the first space shuttle elevator system. He also worked on building a test platform and control system for the Army’s AAH Helicopter program which resulted in the Apache.

James formed lasting relationships with wonderful friends, volunteered at Church and School and gave back wherever he could. He was a long-standing member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Tustin where he served as a Eucharistic minister and Bereavement Minister for many years. James also loved spending as much time as possible with family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Rosary and Visitation, Saddleback Chapel, January 23rd 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Funeral Mass, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, January 24th 10:00 AM

Burial, Riverside National Cemetery, January 27th