Cover photo for Joan Elizabeth Gilmore-Mclaughlin's Obituary
Joan Elizabeth Gilmore-Mclaughlin Profile Photo

Joan Elizabeth Gilmore-Mclaughlin

May 14, 1927 — May 9, 2022

Joan Elizabeth Gilmore-Mclaughlin

Joan Gilmore McLaughlin passed away in Oklahoma City on May 9, 2022, just days short of her 95th birthday. Born in 1927 to Helen and Joseph Gilmore, Joan spent most of her childhood in Waukegan, Illinois along with her brother Robert. Joan graduated from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri with a degree in English. Joan began her career as a journalist with a weekly column in The Drury Mirror, the college newspaper, and then wrote for the town newspaper in Springfield. She moved to Oklahoma in 1952 where she joined the staff of the state's largest newspaper, The Daily Oklahoman and its sister paper, The Oklahoma City Times. First a reporter in the society department, she worked her way into the position of women's news editor with a staff of eight women. Joan met her husband Al McLaughlin at The Daily Oklahoman where he was director of the photo department. Joan left the paper after 28 years to open a public relations and videography business with her husband. She later completed her career as a daily columnist for The Journal Record, where she wrote about Oklahoma people and activities for more than 32 years.Joan had a deeply rooted passion for journalism and a love of the arts. Her dedication to volunteerism was manifested by her involvement with a myriad of civic groups and nonprofit organizations. She was also an esteemed advisor and mentor to many young women. She served as a founding member of Leadership Oklahoma City and Oklahoma Children's Medical Research Foundation (now Oklahoma Children's Hospital Foundation). Joan served on numerous boards, including the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, Friends of the OU Breast Institute, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, and the Executive Service Corps of Central Oklahoma. Her many awards and honors included Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Journal Record and the Oklahoma City chapter of The Association for Women in Communications. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame. Joan received a Special Award as well as a Media in the Arts Award from the Governor's Arts Award program.Joan is survived by her stepson and daughter in law, Steve and Lisa McLaughlin; grandchildren, Catherine McLaughlin and Mark McLaughlin and his wife Angela; along with great grandchildren, Hannah and Jack McLaughlin. She also is survived by nephews, Tim Gilmore and Robert Gilmore; as well as a niece, Robin Gilmore Diefenbach. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and brother.We will never know the full extent of Joan's impact during her nearly 95 years; she touched countless lives in many different ways. Her involvement with groups and organizations, as well as her many awards and recognitions, tell only a small part of the colorful life and story of Joan. Although she has passed away, her influence will last for generations, especially for women for whom she fought so hard to empower.Memorial donations in Joan's name may be made to NewView Oklahoma, 4301 N Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73118.A memorial will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the Smith & Kernke Chapel, 14624 N May Avenue. www.smithandkernke.comJoanie, you will be deeply missed.
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