William E. McLaughlin, 89, formerly of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, a civil engineer and developer, died Sept. 4 at Cathedral Village in Andorra, where he had been a resident for the past 10 years.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Mr. McLaughlin had built more than 250 homes in Montgomery County and along the New Jersey shore. Earlier he had been a real estate broker and had worked with Ball and Coffin Real Estate.
During the 1960s he also served as a commissioner of Whitemarsh Township. At the end of his career he worked as a real estate appraiser for the federal government.
Raised in Germantown, he was a graduate of the William Penn Charter School and Cornell University.
He was a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, serving in England, France and Germany, where he supervised the construction of bridges under combat conditions.
Mr. McLaughlin was one of the local veterans interviewed in 2007 by WHYH-TV in Philadelphia for the Ken Burns’ series on World War II.
He also collaborated on a book with his friend Richard Hughes that chronicled their visits to more than 200 museums in the Delaware Valley. The two men also were volunteers in the outpatient recovery room at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
He was an avid golfer, squash and tennis player at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
He is survived by daughters Sandra McFarland, of Washington, D.C., Cathy Glazer, of Philadelphia, and Martha McLaughlin, of Ambler, and Jennifer McLaughlin, of Philadelphia; a stepdaughter, Becket Doyle, of Atlanta; a stepson, Robert Swartley, of Philadelphia; six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Mr. McLaughlin’s wife, the former Elsie Walker, and a brother, Marcellus H. McLaughlin Jr., preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118. Memorial donations may be made to the above church. – WF
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