Dr. Margaret A. “Marge” McLaughlin of Camden, SC, daughter of the late Dr. James R. McLaughlin and Lorene Englehardt McLaughlin, died peacefully on November 14, 2016 after almost six decades as a teacher of writing. She grew up in small towns across Indiana: first in Westfield while her father served as a physician in the South Pacific during WWII, and then in Flora after the war.
McLaughlin graduated from DePauw University in 1955 with a BA degree in English. In the 1970s, she earned the MA in English and MSEd in Reading, both from Western Illinois University. After years of teaching at the high school level, she enrolled in Illinois State University and completed her Doctor of Arts degree in 1993. A year later, she received the Outstanding Research Project Award from the National Association for Developmental Education for her dissertation research in how to help unprepared college students improve their literacy skills. Her commitment to improving literacy skills among first-generation and minority student populations was the hallmark of her career.
Dr. McLaughlin transitioned quickly to the university setting, first at Ohio University 1959-66, then Heidelberg College for two years and Western Illinois University 1968-77. She moved to Spoon River College in 1977, where she taught for 12 years before deciding she’d had enough of winter and headed south. Her longest faculty stint was at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, where she taught from 1989 until her retirement in 2012 as Associate Professor of Writing & Linguistics.
An avid reader and lifelong learner, Dr. McLaughlin was a seasoned traveler who visited China, Tibet, the USSR, and Europe. Besides teaching, her greatest passion was the Unitarian Universalist church. She worked to help start UU churches in Macomb, IL and Statesboro, GA, and served several terms as president of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro. People from both churches became her lifelong confidants, travel companions, and friends. Her family is grateful for the love she was shown by both congregations.
Survivors include three children: Ben Robinson of Gainesville, GA., Kristen (David) Petersen and Rachel McLaughlin of Camden, SC; one brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Toni Eisterholdt McLaughlin of Sarasota, FL; three nieces, Stacey, Heather, and Maureen, and one nephew, Michael; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held in Burlington, IN and Tybee Island, GA.
Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel, is assisting the family.
Online condolences may be sent to the McLaughlin family by visiting www.kornegayfuneral.com.