This is the story of Terry McLaughlin, an amazing man who had a deep faith and love in his Lord and savior Jesus Christ. He had a rough exterior but inside he was a giant teddy bear who loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He enjoyed many things in life and loved to serve others. He volunteered with the Special Olympics and with search and rescue. He was a Hamm radio operator, and he organized stock car races with his friend Virgil Buittner at the Hub of the Valley in Belgrade, Montana.
Terry's story starts in 1944 in Lewistown, Montana where he lived and attended school until the seventh grade. He graduated from Roundup, Montana in 1963 when he then joined the Navy. He served abroad on the USS Theodore Roosevelt until he was severely burned in an aircraft explosion, he jumped off the boat, seven stories, and a helicopter saw him and picked him up, over 60% of his body was burned. He was flown to a hospital in Hawaii and then to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in California for his recovery. He spent the remainder of his time in service in recovery until he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1966. He missed graduating college at MSC by just a quarter, majoring in Chemistry, due to an accident. After he recovered from his accident, he went on to truck driving for Pioneer. He started his own business called Omni-Fix, meaning fix everything, because Terry could fix just about anything. In 1995 he married Barbara Heiskell, they owned the Laundromat, where they met and fell in love. They enjoyed 20 years of serving the local college students and families along with many adored dogs until 2005 when they retired. They spent 23 years very happily married.
Loved ones that have cleared the path for Terry are his mother and father Ruth and Lee McLaughlin and his sisters Marge Sherman and Laura Lee Lindeland.
Terry is survived by his loving wife Barbara; his daughter Esther Clark (Devlon); two step daughters, Michelle (Mike) and Stacie (Corry); his sister, Linda and her husband Dale Johnson and his brother-in-law, Stuart Cooper along with several nieces and nephews; his half-brother Bob Edwards (Randy Larson); 13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
The family asks if you would like to honor Terry with a contribution, please consider Three Forks Bible Church, Quiet Water & Warriors, or a charity of your choice.
Terry loved many and he was loved by many. He will be sorely missed by all.
"You can shed your tears because they are gone, or you can smile because they lived. You can close your eyes and pray they will come back, or you can open your eyes and see all that they left for you. Your heart can be empty because you can't see them, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember only that they are gone, or you can cherish their memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind and feel empty, or you can do what they would want. Smile, open your heart, love.... And go on."
- Elizabeth Ammons
A Visitation will be held Saturday from 10:00-11:00 am with a Funeral Service at 11:00 am at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center, Bozeman.