Cover photo for Howard Clay McLaughlin's Obituary
Howard Clay McLaughlin Profile Photo
1927 Howard 2020

Howard Clay McLaughlin

February 5, 1927 — September 19, 2020

Surrounded by the love of his family both near and far, Howard Clay McLaughlin, 93 years old, died on Saturday, September 19, 2020, after a brief illness.

Howard was born in Clay County, West Virginia on February 5, 1927. One of thirteen brothers and sisters, he is the last of his clan.

Fiercely and deeply loved by his family, and widely admired by friends, Howard’s untimely death leaves a huge void in the hearts and minds of those who cherished him.

Like for many of his generation, hardship and loss were common. His mother died when he was ten and he dropped out of school at 14 years old to help support his father, brothers, and sisters on their working farm. Food was hard to come by. They grew, harvested, and stored everything they could. He hayed fields and drove horses. Fruit was considered a luxury where they received one orange each in their Christmas stocking each year. These and other experiences as a boy and young man instilled a strong work ethic that served him well for the rest of his life.

He nobly served his country enlisting in the United States Army and Air Force in 1948 at the age of 21, leaving the military as a decorated Motor Sergeant in 1953. He served stateside, in Germany, and finally in the Korean Conflict. After an honorable discharge, he attended Capital City Commerce College in Columbus, Ohio for six months and also worked there for a period.

Howard then found himself in The Plains, Ohio. There, he met Patricia Lou Shrieves, who became his wife on December 15, 1956. Their love and passion for each other was unrivaled for over 63 years, providing a safe harbor for each other from which they flourished as a unified front.

Howard began his career as a police officer in Athens, Ohio, but as a new husband with a child on the way, he left that profession and pursued safer work in the trades. He had a celebrated career as a talented machinist where his precise thinking and execution of his work products allowed him to be sought after by supervisors and colleagues such as at Abex Industries, Yorde Machine, and Ohio University where he retired after 26 years of dedicated service. 

Howard was a man of many interests and talents. He was mechanically gifted and freely offered his skills and expertise to help his family and friends with any project, including making detailed drawings and maps. He made two grandfather clocks for his two daughters upon their marriages, did his own house and car repairs when he could, and made wind chimes, as a few examples of his skills. 

Howard was also civic-minded. He coached Little League Baseball for three years and organized the first Crime Watch in The Plains where he recruited over 80 volunteers. He also helped organize the Crime Watch in Chauncey and Nelsonville. Some are still active.

While reserved, Howard never missed a thing and often injected wry and funny comments when least expected. He was wise and a wonderful sounding board. He often pointed out solutions to problems one never knew were there. He always had a welcoming word to whomever he greeted, whether at the post office, or the grocery store, and of course to his adored wife, family, and friends. 

He loved his life. He overcame many hardships that shaped him into the person that his family knew and loved. He was proud of his work and what he created with his wife at his side and was pleased by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren’s accomplishments.

Howard is survived by his loving wife Patricia and their three children, Debra, Pamela and Howard II; their three grandchildren, Nicole, Jason, and Tyler; and their two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Allison. He is also survived by his half-sister Janet and her late husband Ray; brother-in-law John and his wife Tammy as well as nieces and nephews too many to name. Public services will be held at the Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home, 168 Morris Avenue in Athens, on Wednesday, September 23, from 11 AM - 1 PM. The family will have private services at 1 PM. After that, private graveside services will be held at Memory Gardens, 7360 Cameron Road in Athens.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Howard’s memory either to the American Red Cross - Athens Chapter, 100 South May Avenue, Athens, Ohio 45701 or to the Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, North Carolina 28607 (

Note: Please consult Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home for COVID-19 rules and regulations at or call them at 740-592-6666.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Clay McLaughlin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hughes Moquin Funeral Home

168 Morris Avenue, Athens, OH 45701

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hughes Moquin Funeral Home

168 Morris Avenue, Athens, OH 45701

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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