James A. McLaughlin
September 19, 1937 – February 8, 2019
James Auber McLaughlin, affectionately known as “Dr. Mac,” passed away on February 8, 2019 in El Paso, Texas and is now reunited with his beloved brother Allan.
He was born September 19, 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio to Evert and Evelyn (Endle) McLaughlin and was a graduate of Euclid High School. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College in 1959, he taught science in the Mentor Public Schools. Ever curious, he soon decided to obtain his Master of Science degree. This pursuit took him to Syracuse University in New York where he met a Canadian turned Texan girl named Patricia (Pat) Detenbeck. They were married August 16, 1967.
After spending years learning and teaching biology, chemistry, bacteriology, psychology, anatomy, and physiology, Jim decided to take it a step further and apply to medical school. He and Pat soon moved to Philadelphia, PA where Jim earned his Doctor of Osteopathic medicine in 1974. During this time, they welcomed their first child, Anne.
The family moved to Grand Prairie, Texas in 1975 to escape the cold weather and to allow Jim to work as a family practitioner at MidCities Clinic and as an instructor at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Soon, with experience as a doctor under his belt, it was the perfect time to branch out on his own. In 1977, Jim started a private practice in his newly-constructed southwestern-style office which he named Brady Lane Clinic. That same year, the family welcomed baby Amy.
For over 25 years, Jim took care of and created relationships with countless families at Brady Lane Clinic, often caring for several generations at once. He could be seen checking up on his patients in the early mornings and late evenings the Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Center, where he was named Physician of the Year in 1992. He could also be found seeing patients and working as a medical director at senior care centers in the area, where he and his daughters would faithfully deliver eggnog (occasionally with a nip of the good stuff!) to the residents every Christmas Day. Participating in caring for those with end of life issues at the Family Hospice of the MidCities was also a cause close to his heart. He served on numerous community boards, acted as the Chief of the Tejas Nation at the YMCA’s Adventure Princess program, and was an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington.
In 1994 Jim made a career change and began a job with the Department of Justice as a Medical Officer at the Federal Medical Center at Fort Worth, TX. The opportunity to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia where he was able to refine his marksmanship skills and learn other law enforcement skills, was a highlight. Federal job restructuring in 2005 prompted a transfer to Bastrop, TX where he worked as a Clinical Director at the Federal Correctional Institution. Jim loved the country life just outside of Austin, and soon forged close relationships with new neighbors and became an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Smithville. He also helped establish and was a supervising physician at the Smithville Community Clinic which provides free medical care for those lacking resources.
In 2017 Jim and Pat decided to follow their daughter Amy out to El Paso, where they became members of First Presbyterian Church and spent many hours chasing after grandchildren and exploring their new surroundings. Jim especially enjoyed all things nature, and could provide the scientific name of whatever tree, animal, or insect that he crossed paths with. Also passionate about music, he played a range of instruments from the banjo to the bagpipes. Not surprisingly, his attire ranged from jeans and cowboy boots to traditional Highland dress. He was also very proud to be a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite. He was a much beloved member of every community that he touched, and, of course, was the quintessential family man.
He is survived by his wife Patricia McLaughlin, their daughter Anne Phillips (Jason) of Corvallis, Oregon, their daughter Amy Field (Craig) of El Paso, Texas, four grandsons, and a coterie of beloved nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will take place on March 30, 2019 at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church in El Paso. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dr. Mac’s memory can be made to
First Presbyterian Church 1340 Murchison Dr. El Paso, TX 79902
First Presbyterian Church 300 Burleson Smithville, TX 78957
Smithville Community Clinic P.O. Box 38 Smithville, TX 78957
- Celebration of Life Saturday, March 30, 2019
James A. McLaughlin
March 14, 2019
I miss you so much Uncle Jim. Take care of Dad for us, and don't tease each other too much. I think most of all, I'll miss your deep laughter and antics. Words just can't convey the loss. You are loved eternally.
February 22, 2019
Jim will be deeply missed. He always made me laugh with his wry, clever sense of humor. In high school I would call to talk to Anne, and he would typically reply with something like, “She’s out feeding the pigs, but I’ll try to find her!” Between his wit and the way that he and Pat created such a welcoming household, I had a second home at their house that I still remember clearly to this day. Pat, Anne, & Amy, please know that I am thinking of y’all. —Collin
February 20, 2019
A lifetime ago, a Texas girl who somehow found herself in the frozen tundra of upper NY State met a wonderful man who turned out to be her lifetime love. Our hearts are full of sorrow for her loss, and joy at the beautiful life they shared together. Few people share the bond that Pat and Jim did , and the remarkable coincidence that brought them together. Love to you, Pat, and to your family. Those of us who knew you way back when still hold a warm place for you in our hearts.