Evelyn McLaughlin

Obituary of Evelyn McLaughlin

Evelyn Louise McLaughlin, 97, of Annandale, VA, passed away on the 31st day of May, 2018, at the Goodwin House, Arlington, Virginia.

Born on August 28, 1920, in Decorah, Iowa, she was the daughter of the late Alvin Ellis and the late Clara Blaess.

Evelyn McLaughlin, known as Evie to all her family, friends, and colleagues, came to the Washington, D.C. area from Iowa during World War II. She began her federal government career at the Department of Defense. It was there that she met her husband, John Joseph McLaughlin, otherwise known as Mac. Mrs. McLaughlin spent the next part of her life as a devoted mother to their one child, Patricia (Patti). Mrs. McLaughlin was also active in social activities associated with Mr. McLaughlin’s job as Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. She eventually worked for and retired from Fairfax County Schools.

Sadly, Mrs. McLaughlin lost her beloved husband at a relatively young age in a tragic car accident. She and Patti courageously picked up the pieces and went on to live very full lives. Mrs. McLaughlin was active in her community and neighborhood and her caring nature made her every child’s “second mother” and “big sister” for many of her neighbors. Her caring connections continued until the day she passed away. When she made a friend, it was a life-time friendship, and she had many friends.

Mrs. McLaughlin helped found the infamous “Broyhill Crest Bridge Club,” made up mostly of the mothers in the neighborhood. Can you imagine the information, stories, jokes, plans for children, politics, and gossip shared over the cards during the “Club’s” 50 years?  And the shrewd playing of hands! Mrs. McLaughlin was at the heart of it, hosting  “the ladies” at her home well into her 80’s. Over the years, the size of the club shrank, but the existing members continued to get together for serious bridge games.

Mrs. McLaughlin liked travel and sharing new experiences with friends. She was the brave mom who took teenager Patti and other neighborhood teenager girls to Ocean City, MD. When “her children” were grown, she visited Central and South America with her neighbors, Frank and Mary Mulhern, and she and her dear friend, Nancy Shade, embarked on adventures around the world, with two noteworthy trips to Rome, Italy and Hong Kong.

Mrs. McLaughlin was determined to stay in the home she loved until she passed away. However, after many years, it became evident that this was not to be. In her pragmatic way, she knew when it was time to move to an assisted care facility, Goodwin House, in Arlington.  Her adored daughter, Patti, all those “children” who grew up in the neighborhood, and her best friend neighbors, Elizabeth and Elton Clark, were regular visitors while Evie lived at the Goodwin House.

Mrs. McLaughlin loved a good party and hosted many during her life. She celebrated turning 90, with a “big bash” that included many of her friends and family. Some came from as far as Colorado to be with this wonderful woman. She went on to celebrate 7 more birthdays and said each one was the best.

Mrs. McLaughlin had a wonderful life. She enriched the lives of all who knew her and will live on in their hearts. She will be dearly missed. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Patti) Tuholski, her grandson Brian C. Kesecker, her nieces Lynn Radovich and Ginny Pavlovec.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Friends of Fairfax County Animal Shelter, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. (Telephone number 703- 830-1100.)

There will be a “Celebration of Evie’s Life Party” for her family and friends, on August 25, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, in the West Side room on the 12th floor of the Goodwin House in Arlington. 

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