On Saturday, September 14, 2019, John B. McLaughlin, loving husband and father of seven children, passed away after a brief illness at 91 years of age.
John was born in Leominster, on July 14, 1928 to John P. McLaughlin and Rita (Clark) McLaughlin. He was the fourth out of five children. He graduated from Leominster High School in 1946. Enlisted in the Air Force in 1949 to 1954 and trained as a Weather observer. On September 14, 1952 he married Frances Centracchio and raised seven children. Grandfather to 12 and Great grandfather to 4 children.
John worked for General Electric of Fitchburg for 40 years retiring in 1988.
John’s political career ran from 1966 to 2006, he was a Leominster city councilor, Mayor, and Northern Worcester District Registry of Deeds. In 1966 he was first elected as ward 1 councilor and he credited the win to his Door to Door campaigning. He held that seat until 1971 and was back on the city council in 1973. He went back to Door to Door campaigning city wide to successfully be elected Mayor in 1973 and served two terms from 1974 to 1977. He returned to the city council in 1980 to 1993. In the years on the council, he served on every school building committee and the Leominster Public Library Building committee.
After losing a bid for a third term, at fifty years of age, he went back to school while working full time at G.E. He earned an Associate degree from Quinsigamound Community College in 1979, a Bachelor’s degree in history from Worcester State College in 1982, and a Master’s in public administration from Clark University in 1984.
In 1989, he went back to his Door to Door campaigning, this time in the five communities of Leominster, Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Ashburnham, and Westminster and won his first term as Register of Deeds. He served three six-year terms. During his time as the Register, the office was moved to its current location and was modernized with new technologies.
In addition, he was the President of The Babe Ruth League in Leominster from 1952 to 1998. Under his leadership, the league won many state and regional titles. In 1986, the league had a team that went on to the nationals. While he was President, the league acquired land to build two baseball fields with underground irrigation and lights. The Lancaster Street field was named after him for his dedication and service. He was also inducted into the Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2001.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Frances McLaughlin and five children, Noreen C. Beaulieu of Hubbardston, James F. McLaughlin and wife Anna of Fitzwilliam, NH., Michael B. McLaughlin of Westminster, Kenneth C. McLaughlin and wife Jody of Rutland, Megan A. Palmieri and husband Danial of Princeton, and his brother Roy McLaughlin of Leominster. Predeceased by two sons John P. McLaughlin (2017) and Steven D. McLaughlin (2000). Also, his three sisters Margaret Johnson, Helen Comeau, and Mildred Prince.
In recognition of his many years of service to the City of Leominster, his wake will be held in the auditorium of Leominster City Hall from 5 to 7 PM on Tuesday, September 17. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of the Lake church, 1400 Main Street, Leominster at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 18. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
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