Cover photo for Patricia Lou McLaughlin's Obituary
Patricia Lou McLaughlin Profile Photo
1936 Patricia 2021

Patricia Lou McLaughlin

June 15, 1936 — May 21, 2021

Deeply beloved and cherished by family and friends, Patricia Lou (Shrieves) McLaughlin, 84 years old, died on Friday, May 21, 2021, after an unexpected illness.

Patricia was born in The Plains, Ohio on June 15, 1936. She was the fourth child of Lela Pearl (Potts Coon) and Orley Hubert Shrieves, who lived and raised their family on a small farm during the Great Depression. Their generosity was known far and wide despite their limited means. It was not uncommon for them to leave prepared meals for “hobos” who were passing through and needed something to eat or to help out their friends or neighbors in need.

Patricia took her parents’ lessons to heart and freely gave her bounty to family and friends in ways large and small throughout her life. Her gestures of kindness were legendary and set an example that one can only hope to emulate. One never knew when a card or “love gift” would be coming your way with words of cheer and prayers. She said it was her card ministry and she had a knack for knowing just when you needed it.

Patricia was a strong woman in every sense of the word. She had spirit, spunk, and drive. One always knew what was on her mind. She also had a mischievous streak and laughed easily and often.

She graduated from The Plains High School in 1954. Not only was she on the staff of The World’s Echo (her senior class yearbook), she was also the news reporter for the Student Council, a co-author of the 1954 class poem “Farewell to Our School World”, which she recited on Class Night that same year. She played in the high school band for three years, performed in class plays, including Finders Creepers in her senior year, and was a member of Future Homemakers of America, including being an officer as a senior. She was in vocal music for four years, and a varsity cheerleader, in which she lettered. She also lettered in band and received the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award - all evidence of her winning and fun-loving personality. She met First Lady Mamie Eisenhower at the White House, as well, as part of a high school senior class trip that took her to Washington, D.C., and New York City.

She aspired to attend Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, Illinois upon graduating from

high school in 1955. However, fate intervened. When working at their small family diner called “Patsy’s Place”, Patricia saw a strikingly handsome young man riding down Rt. 682 on a Harley Davidson motorcycle - Howard Clay McLaughlin. She said it was love at first sight. They married on December 15, 1956, and went on to have three children. They had a true, deep, and abiding love, which sustained them and the rest of the family for over 63 years until Howard’s untimely death on September 19, 2020. Her heart was broken at the loss of her soul mate.

She worked as a telephone operator for decades. First at the Ohio Bell Telephone Company, and then at Ohio University where she was the calm and competent voice connecting others to get their needs met. For homesick college students, she offered soothing advice and said if they needed to talk to someone, just to call the switchboard and ask for “Patty”. She retired after working for over 30 years at Ohio University providing professional and courteous service to all.

Patricia had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. For years when attending The Plains Church of the Nazarene and New Life Assembly of God, she was the Choir Director organizing Christmas, and Easter Cantatas in addition to weekly choirs for Sunday services. She excelled in organizing these events, planning everything to the last detail, which resulted in members of the congregation celebrating and expressing their faith through song.

She loved music of all kinds, especially gospel music where she enjoyed the Gaithers, the Oakridge Boys, and the Happy Goodmans. She was a huge fan of Englebert Humperdinck where she and Howard attended some of his concerts. She and Howard also enjoyed country music, which took them to Dollywood and Opryland USA. These were among some of the trips they were able to take together to places such as Myrtle Beach or the Amish Country in Sugarcreek, Ohio, where they shared fond memories and funny stories based on their experiences.

Patricia had a knack for decorating and floral design, which resulted in creating a beautiful home for her family. She also helped dear friends with the same, which brought her much joy. Her stamina for shopping was epic, and especially enjoyed this activity with her only granddaughter. She never compulsively bought anything but it was important to her to look around, compare prices and get the best quality at a good value.

She especially delighted in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren’s accomplishments, encouraging them in their pursuits. She and Howard often shared their insights born out of their hardwon experiences, including “Tips from Granny and Pa”, to make things easier for them.

Patricia was a woman of strong Christian faith. Her prayers changed the lives of many and ensured a hedge of protection when others were dealing with perilous situations such as illness, divorce, or simply hard times. She had the gift of gab intertwined with empathy. Her conversations brought solace and wisdom to family members and friends alike.

Patricia is survived by her children, Debra Lynn McLaughlin and partner Roger Clark Miller, Pamela Kay (McLaughlin) Burson and son-in-law, Mark Burson, and Howard Clay McLaughlin, II; three grandchildren, Nicole Victoria Speece and partner Greg Gibson, Jason Caleb Speece, and Tyler Clay McLaughlin and daughter-in-law, Erin Michelle McLaughlin and two great-grandchildren, Jacob Clay McLaughlin and Allison Michelle McLaughlin. She is also survived by brother John Robert Shrieves and his wife Tammy Schob Shrieves, nieces Sharon (Moore) Scruggs, Kelly (Shrieves) Stewart, and Susan (Shrieves) Adams, Jerry Shrieves, David Shrieves, Leroy Shrieves, Jimmy Shrieves, and Kevin Shrieves in addition to other nieces and nephews too many to name.

She was preceded in death by her one true love and husband, Howard Clay McLaughlin; mother and father, Lela Pearl and Orley Hubert Shrieves; and her siblings, Fauna Kathleen (Shrieves) Moore, Richard Dale Shrieves, and Hubert Leroy Shrieves as well as nephew Rodney Moore and niece Nancy Moore.

Public viewing will be held at the Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home, 168 Morris Avenue in Athens, on Thursday, May 27, 2021, from 11 AM - 1 PM, with private services at 1 PM. After that, private graveside services will be held at Memory Gardens, 7360 Cameron Road in Athens, Ohio.

Instead of flowers, donations can be made in Patricia’s memory at Support Israel through the John Hagee Ministries, at or the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Israel at Friends and family are welcomed to leave a message of sympathy at www

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 Patricia Lou McLaughlin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, May 27, 2021

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

Thursday, May 27, 2021

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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