ORONO – Joyce McLaughlin, 86, of Orono, Me., entered into eternity Dec. 16, 2013 after a long life of love and laughter. Joyce was born Dec. 18, 1926, in Dubuque, IA, the daughter of Theodore and Ethel (McCraney) Gabriel. She was 10th of 11 children.
She is predeceased by her husband, Arthur E. McLaughlin of Weston, Me., and daughter, Ann G. McLaughlin of Lincoln, Me. She is survived by her daughter, Kelly D. McLaughlin and her partner, “Daughter # 2″, Laurie A. Foley of Newburgh, Me. She leaves behind many special friends including Joe and Donna Lounsbury, Kathy Auerswald, Elinor Dilitush, Teresa “P-nut” Whitney, Rosemary Freese and a very special friend, Tom Cruise. Joyce accomplished many great things in her lifetime. She was proud to have cared for 30 plus children over the years. Joyce loved each of them dearly. Long after they had grown, she continued to display the photos, toys and trinkets they gave to her as children. Joyce held those in need with high regard and respect, inspiring those around her to do the same. In collaboration with St. Mary’s Church of Lincoln, she founded the St. Mary’s Food Cupboard and operated it from her home for years. She worked tirelessly, and on a daily basis networked and gathered contributions from countless people, churches, agencies and organizations. She possessed a gift for bringing communities together. It was of utmost importance to her that all people were treated with dignity and respect, especially when in need. Joyce received formal recognition from President Bill Clinton, Senator George Mitchell, Pope John Paul II, the town of Lincoln and others. Joyce was a member of the Long Pond Poker Club, Wed. A.M. Prayer Sisters, RSVP and many other charities over the years. All will remember her for her smile, laughter and sense of humor.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Knights Of Columbus Hall in Lincoln, Me., on 12/28/13 at 11:00 am. A luncheon will be served. In lieu of flowers, please bring a non perishable food item to be donated to the Lincoln Food Cupboard in her honor, or contribute to your local food cupboard if unable to attend. All are welcome. In Joyce’s words “Be Happy.”