Peters VFD, VFW establish fund for family of Gary McLaughlin

Published Apr 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm (Updated Apr 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm)

Members in the Peters Township Volunteer Fire Department and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 764 in Peters Township have established a memorial fund for R. Gary McLaughlin, who died in a tragic house fire the morning of Easter, March 31.

Money raised for the fund will be used to help the family, said Scott Huenefeld, commander of Post 764.

McLaughlin initially escaped the fire that originated in a clothes dryer, but returned to the house to retrieve unknown items.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was an active member of Post 764, rising through the ranks and eventually serving as post commander.

“There aren’t that many true gentleman and he was that, a true, true gentleman,” Huenefeld said.

McLaughlin’s wife, who survives, was active in the Post’s Women’s Auxiliary.

His son, Michael McLaughlin Sr., was a member of the Peters Township Fire Department, including serving as Captain, before his death from cancer a few years ago. He was known as “Fireman Mike.”

A grandson, Michael McLaughlin Jr., is a paid firefighter in the same department, is a lieutenant and serves as the department’s fire prevention officer.

“The McLaughlin family has provided many years of community service to Peters Township and the members of these organizations are urging everyone to donate to this fund,” said Greg Nardine, president of the Peters Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Donations may be mailed to McLaughlin Easter Day Fire Fund, First Commonwealth Bank, 4198 Washington Road, McMurray 15317.

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