YOUNGSTOWN — On the morning of Friday, March 31, 2023, Mr. Rasho Franklin Laughlin, 98, affectionately known as “Ray,” took his final rest.
Mr. Laughlin was born Feb. 28, 1925, in Flat Lick, Ky.
After graduation, he served as a Navy cook during World War II and the Korean War. He also attended Fisk University for a short time. He worked for Southside Hospital, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, and retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1984 after 31 years. In later years, he was a maintenance worker for the Youngstown Public Library and the 5200 West Boulevard condominium.
He married the love of his life, Greta, June 28, 1948, and was married for 64 years. In 1952, they built their house together and raised a beautiful family.
Mr. Laughlin loved music, gardening, fishing and cooking for his family. He was an exceptional craftsman and builder. He was also a faithful member of Third Baptist Church. His best recipes were biscuits, chicken and dumplings, rolls and black magic cake. He made sure to let people know how best to cook, because he knew how good food was supposed to taste. His sense of humor and engaging conversations provided laughter, friendship and comfort to all he met. He was “Mr. Ray” to those in the neighborhood, always passing out candy to children and sharing home-cooked meals with neighbors. He was a surrogate father and grandfather to many.
He was a kind man who was always full of joy. He loved big band jazz music. You could often hear him singing and whistling while patting his feet. He was an avid reader and loved learning. He shared his wealth of knowledge with others and passed the value of education to his children and grandchildren.
He deeply loved his family and had the most generous and kind heart. His dedicated a substantial part of his life helping to raise his granddaughter, Tara. He was an integral part of the lives of his great-grandchildren, Leah, Kyla, Alec and Evan, who called him “Da.” He was also an important father figure to his grandson, Joe.
Mr. Laughlin leaves to carry on his legacy, two sons, Danny Laughlin of Florida and Kenneth (Gloria) Laughlin of Philadelphia, Pa.; a daughter, Denise M. Laughlin of Youngstown; and a granddaughter, whom he raised as his own, Tara (Joseph) Sydney of Boardman. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the center of his world: Erica Laughlin of Madison, Wis., Travis Laughlin of Dexter, Mich., Reid Laughlin of Austin, Texas, Michael, Jamie, Shannon and Nikki Laughlin of Philadelphia, Pa., and Leah, Kyla, Alec and Evan Sydney of Boardman. He also leaves a special nephew, Dwayne Laughlin of Chicago, Ill., and a host of family and friends.
He was welcomed into his heavenly home by his precious wife, Greta; loving son, Barry; parents; brother, Charles; sister Maude Beatrice; grandson, Everett; and his favorite Uncle Hisk (Big Unc).
A celebration of his life will take place at noon Monday, April 10, 2023, at Greater Friendship Baptist Church, 646 Lakewood Ave., Youngstown, with visitation from 11 a.m. to noon. The family requests that masks be worn by guests.
The Laughlin family would like to thank the wonderful people who sustained his care for so many years and made his quality of life better: Dr. Ravinder Nath and Dr. Anne Stover; neighbor, Donald Swanson; caregiver, Morris; and dear family friends, Deacon Willie S. Harmon Sr. and Joyce Jenkins-Jones.
We thank God for his beautiful 98-year journey. Our beloved father and patriarch will always be remembered for his unwavering strength, his unconditional love, his gentle kindness, his comforting spirit and all the sacrifices he made for our family.
Services of love and dignity entrusted to L.E. Black, Phillips and Holden Funeral Home. Family and friends may send their heartfelt condolences to www.leblackphillipsholdenfuneralhome.com.
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