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Lester "Jack" McLaughlin '64 January 11, 2017 11:18 AM updated: January 11, 2017 11:22 AM

(Published in) the (Bryan-College Station) Eagle (on) January 11, 2017

McLaughlin, Lester Austin "Jack"

November 28, 1942 - December 30, 2016

LtCol Lester Austin "Jack" McLaughlin passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at his home in Keller, Texas on December 30, 2016.

He is survived by his children, LTC Lester "Jack" McLaughlin, Jr. and Cristin McLaughlin; his sister, Sandra "Sissy" Reina and her husband, Andy "A.C." Reina, and their son, Jeff Reina. Lester has two granddaughters, Madisyn (13) and McKynna (10) who he loved dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Cynthia "Cindy".

Born on November 28, 1942 in Navasota, Texas to Jack Cook McLaughlin and Faye (Cashion) McLaughlin of Bryan, Texas. Lester graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1960. Lester McLaughlin received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Management from Texas A & M University in 1964 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A & M University in 1966. A distinguished graduate of Officers Training School in 1967, he completed a Master of Arts degree in International Relations at the University of Oklahoma in 1974.

Lieutenant Colonel Lester A. McLaughlin was commissioned from US Air Force Officer Training School in 1966. At his first duty station, at Plattsburg AFB. NY, he met and married 2nd Lt Cynthia Enyedy, an Air Force nurse. LtCol McLaughlin's area of expertise, was Management Engineering, which involves solving operational problems to improve quality and efficiency. As a captain, at Clark AFB, Philippines, he was involved in the withdrawal of the US Air Force presence from Taiwan. As a Major, he did a four-year tour as a missile launch officer at Malmstrom AFB, MT, where he performed over 100 missions on alert, 80 feet below ground, controlling ten Minuteman III missiles, finishing his tour as a squadron operations officer. During this period, he conducted a live foot-shot of a Minuteman III missile from Vandenberg AFB, California to Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. LtCol McLaughlin then transferred to Air Staff at the Pentagon, where he continued as a Management Engineer. In this capacity, he was involved in the establishment of the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He served as a squadron commander at Sheppard AFB, TX, where he finished his career. LtCol McLaughlin retired from the Air Force in 1992 after 25 years of service. His awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal and National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star.

Lester enjoyed reading his newspaper(s) daily and drinking extra hot black coffee all day long. He enjoyed traveling, especially in the Mountain West areas of Montana and Wyoming. He had a love for history that he shared with his son, Lester Jr. He was an avid Texas A&M football fan. Lester had a love for people and enjoyed talking to everybody, including strangers and had an ability to make them feel like he had known them forever and they were special.

He will be forever loved and missed by those of us he left behind.

Visitation will take place on January 14, 2017 at 9:30am at Metcalf Funeral Home in Conroe, Texas. Services will begin at 11:00am at Metcalf Funeral Home in Conroe, Texas. Military burial will follow at Plantersville Cemetery 8931 Cemetery Road Plantersville, Texas.

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