Delmar “Del” Al McLaughlin entered this world during a harsh winter storm on December 14, 1931. He began his journey home November 18, 2019, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his wife Marian and family. He was just a month shy of his 88th birthday.
Del was the last surviving child of eleven children to Rose and Elder McLaughlin. He was raised in Somes Bar amongst the mountains and the Klamath and Salmon rivers. He was an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe and descendent of the Wiyot Tribe. Del was from a different time — a silent generation. He attended school at Junction Elementary School in Somes Bar and attended high school at the Sherman Indian High School in Riverside. Soon after graduating, he entered the United States Army and graduated from boot camp in Monterey. He was medically discharged after a brief illness and returned home to Somes Bar in 1951.
In Hoopa he met the love of his life, Marian, at a community dance, and the two remained inseparable. On June 15, 1955, Del and Marian were married in Ashland, Oregon at the County Courthouse with the cab driver as their witness. They made Eureka their home.
Del was self-made and self-reliant; he worked as a Heavy Equipment Operator Manager for the City of Eureka Refuse for 25 years. As a child of the Depression era, he understood the value of a dollar and the importance of hard work, saving, and investing. The generosity he expressed with his money matched his generosity of spirit.
During his career a good friend of his, the late Stig Strombeck, encouraged Del to take up golfing. He immediately caught the, “golfing bug.” Marian would often have to drive down to the Muni Golf Course in search of him because he was out late golfing. He spent so much time golfing that she took up the sport too. For the next few decades they spent their time traveling throughout the country competing in golf tournaments; winning a countless amount. These tournaments took them as far as Scotland, Florida, Arizona, and Hawaii. As an avid golfer, he was a lifelong member of both the Baywood and Bigfoot Country Clubs and retired with a record of seven hole-in-ones, just one over his wife, Marian’s, record.
Del had kind-hearted soul, he was compassionate and had gentle way about him. He loved to joke, laugh and above all else had the brightest smile. He was genuine to a fault, charismatic and eager to share a story with those who would listen — whether they were acquaintances or strangers, that didn’t matter. He was a huge sports fan; ESPN could always be found on the television, golf, baseball, basketball; it didn’t matter. If he wasn’t watching the game at home, he was taking in a local sporting event. You could often look up in the stands and see his familiar face.
The number of people who called Del friend or uncle was legion. He had a quiet dignity, respecting himself the way he respected others. He was dependable and never let anyone down. He fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it. Del was loyal. His faithfulness to the important people in his life could be seen in the way he steadfastly maintained ties with his good friends and golfing buddies over the years.
Del was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important — family. He was the epitome of the family man; the family’s patriarch. Del and Marian helped in raising his youngest sister, Dolly. They helped her in raising her three sons, Troy, Shawn and Zak. They too — helped in raising their great nieces and nephews. Del was a father, grandfather, but most importantly an uncle and a dear friend. He will remain forever missed and never forgotten — Chimi Kuyapkuhi Nani’arrar…..
Proceeded in death by his parents, Rose and Elder McLaughlin, his mother and father-in-law, Annie and Leo Carter Nix, his sisters, Carolita “Dolly” Allen, Wanda “Chubby” Gillispie, Bessie Attebury, Percilla Martinez, and Delores Nova. Brothers, Leon, Floyd, Tony and Harold McLaughlin. His nephews Adam Troy Allen, Sr., Duane Shawn Allen and great-nephew, Edward Guyer II.
Survived by his wife Marian McLaughlin, his nephew and nieces that he helped to raise, Delmar “Zak” (Sunni) Allen and Madeline Hubbard-Allen, his great-nephews that he too helped to raise, Delmar, Shawn, Elder and Adam Allen, Jr. His great-nieces, Kendall Allen-Guyer, Ryan, Ashley, Emily, Nicoli and Jessica Allen.
Pallbearers: Dels nephews, great-nephews, and great-great nephews.
Honorary Pallbearers: Delmar “Zak” Allen, Lawrence “Mackie” Nix, Kenny Frank, Jim Holt, Edward Moore, Steven Strombeck, EJohn Serjeys, Nolan Colegrove, A. Billy Colegrove, Gene Avery, Jerry Davis, Jeff Neissen, Rocky McCovey, Dave Vigil, Fred Sundberg, Mark Sundberg and Darin Wilson.
Graveside services and internment will commence on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 12 p.m. at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka. Reception to immediately follow at the Yurok Tribal Office-Worthington Site, Eureka. Service arrangements in care Paul’s Chapel in Arcata.
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