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Robert Jeffrey John (Butch) Laughlin
October 18, 1940 ~ April 22, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Robert Jeffery John (Butch) Laughlin, 82 years, left us unexpectedly on April 22, 2023 at Kadlec Hospital in Tri-Cities, WA.
Butch was born October 18, 1940 at Miss Clarey’s Hospital, Heppner, OR to Robert Ogden Laughlin and Ilene Katherine Kilkenny. Butch’s father passed away when Butch was just 6 months old. He and his mother Ilene moved to the Kilkenny Ranch and lived there 5 years until they later moved into Heppner and built a house on Chase Street.
Being the oldest Kilkenny grandchild, he was favored by his grandma Lottie Kilkenny and was looked up to and considered not just a cousin but a brother to the Greenup and Kilkenny cousins. His mother Ilene married Les Wyman in 1946 and a sister Sheridan joined them in 1948. He attended Heppner schools and graduated from HHS in 1958. Butch worked on the Kilkenny/Greenup ranch until 1960 when he got a job with Boeing in Seattle, WA.
On 1963 he married Judith Sue Spaulding. Judie brought with her a daughter Tamila Kay Brannon and together they started a family adding Lottie Lynn and Robert Shane.
Butch had many skills and went to work for Morrow County Grain Growers in the grain elevators then finding his niche selling farm equipment. A job he loved and held for over 30 years. Butch acquired many friends and associates during his career.
As everyone knows Butch was a story teller and rarely told a story twice. He used up his 9 lives before the age of 30 and had many experiences to share. He was involved in many civic organizations over the years. He was a founding member of the 4 Corners Snowmobile club. He was an Oddfellow and a lifetime Elk. He served on the Heppner City Council. He helped to organize the Morrow County Farm Museum in Heppner and is still on the board of directors. He demolished the Heppner train depot and used the salvaged lumber to build his dream cabin in the Blue Mountains where he enjoyed his time hunting and entertaining friends and family. There was not a thing he couldn’t repair or build, he enjoyed restoring antique equipment, gas pumps and trucks over the years.
Butch is survived by his wife Judie they were fortunate to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this March. His sister Sheridan and husband Ed Tarnasky. His children, Tami and Rodney Berthold of Mosier, Lottie and Kirk Holcomb of Madras and Shane from Heppner. He has 6 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass will be held for Butch at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with a reception following at the Gilliam & Bisbee Building in Heppner.
Contributions in Butch’s memory can be made to the Morrow County Farm Museum, PO Box 515, Heppner, OR 97836 the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Memorial Fund, PO Box 633, Heppner, OR 97836 or charity of your choice