Cover photo for James "J.D." Dorn McLaughlin's Obituary
James "J.D." Dorn McLaughlin Profile Photo

James "J.D." Dorn McLaughlin

January 25, 1940 — April 16, 2022

James "J.D." Dorn McLaughlin

James Dorn McLaughlin, 82, passed away on April 16, 2022.

His friends and family called him J.D. He loved to laugh. He loved fishing and hunting, spending years pursuing geese, ducks, bucks, and all things furry. He spent his life grounded in familiar routines and finding enjoyment in his hobbies. He was talented at woodworking - building dressers, coffee tables, canes, and two canoes.

After high school, J.D. attended vocational school in electronics and machining. J.D. traveled to California to work at Pacific Drug Company, and after a car accident, he returned to Minnesota. He married Margaret Smith on May 21, 1971. They lived on their corner lot for most of their fifty years together. Those who knocked on their door were often greeted with a smile and, "You have time for a beer?" 

J.D. worked at Kato Engineering for 29 years and retired in 2002 on his birthday. After retiring, he continued to meet up with his Kato Engineering friends for coffee. He also played an active role in the lives of his three granddaughters, helping them learn to ride bicycles, taking them to the Super America for blue raspberry slushies, and teaching them to hunt morel mushrooms.

J.D. lived his last years with grace and humor at Ecumen Pathstone Living. The family is thankful to the team of caregivers who tended to J.D. each day. 

J.D. is survived by his wife, Margaret (Smith) of North Mankato; his son, Michael and daughter-in-law, Carey; his three granddaughters, Melisandra, Corrigan, and Reece; his brothers, Charles and Denny; sister-in-law, Lynda; his nieces and nephews and their spouses: Jay, Lee and Blair, Casey and Madeleine, Jessica and Tim, Jolene, and Mark and Kim.

J.D. is preceded in death by his parents, Irene (Dorn) and John McLaughlin; sister-in-law, Mary (Smith) McLaughlin; brothers-in-law, Wally and Terry Reich.

The family will be honoring J.D. privately without a formal service or celebration per J.D.'s wishes. All are invited to stop at a favorite "watering hole" to enjoy their favorite beverage in honor of our beer-drinking, laughing J.D.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "J.D." Dorn McLaughlin, please visit our flower store.


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