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In Memoriam: Campbell McLaughlin

Campbell Charles McLaughlin. April 13, 1957- July 12, 2023
Courtesy of the McLaughlin Family
Campbell Charles McLaughlin. April 13, 1957- July 12, 2023

Campbell Charles McLaughlin

April 13, 1957- July 12, 2023

Campbell Charles McLaughlin was born at home at Springburn in Glasgow, Scotland. He passed away in his sleep at his home in Unalaska, Alaska, USA. Campbell had an unmatched sense of humor and timing, and his stories, songs, and antics will live on in the family history. He passed as he lived, surrounded by love.

A native Glaswegian, Campbell attended Bishop Loch Primary School and Lochend Secondary School. He attended Burmulloch College of Technical Engineering and received his Certificate of City and Guilds, London Institute, in 1977. He was the top of his class for technical drawing and his skill was highly respected. He worked as a Bakery Engineer for M & G Bakeries and later in a power station in Rugeley, England in the years shortly after earning his qualifications.

Campbell was a man of many talents and many interests.

In primary school he showed considerable promise as a footballer (soccer player), and his athleticism and skill landed him on the school team prior to being old enough for eligibility. At only eight years old he helped take his league to a championship. This early triumph kindled a life-long passion for the game. Though his career options ended with an injury at 17, he continued to play as he roamed the world, winning championships in England, Australia, and Southern California before coming to Unalaska. Campbell helped launch the first ever youth and adult soccer leagues in Unalaska, AK, participating as player, coach and referee.

Campbell’s love of sport included more than just football. He enjoyed tennis, swimming and especially golf. He played golf whenever and wherever he could, and made a point of playing the annual Tundra Golf Tournament in Unalaska. Many will remember seeing the well-dressed and well-lubricated man in a kilt, swinging at balls in the grassy hills of Unalaska.

Music was another of Campbell’s passions. At 14 he bought his first guitar and never looked back. He and his childhood friends formed a band, “The Bronx” and inspired by Bobby Dylan, the Beatles, and The Who; The Bronx gigged around Glasgow playing cover songs.

In 1987 Campbell left Scotland with just his guitar and a backpack. He roamed the world, often busking to cover his living expenses. By 1991 his adventures had led him to the United States and ultimately to Alaska to work on fishing boats.

Campbell was a gifted tradesman and could turn his hand to anything, particularly engineering and carpentry. His skills were in high demand and he put them to use wherever he happened to be. He worked for Mercedes in Germany, helped establish a ranch on a homestead in Australia, worked on the movie set of Batman in California and on fishing boats in Alaska and Oregon. He was particularly proud to be a part of the restoration team for the 200-year old Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church in Unalaska, AK.

In 1994 he married Peggy Hinkle and soon started a family - McLaughlins, the American Edition - in Unalaska. He often bragged that he had lived in Unalaska longer than anywhere since leaving Scotland in 1987.

Campbell was intensely proud of his Scottish heritage, but more than that, he was proud of and loved his family dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents James McLaughlin and Gwendolyn McLaughlin.

Campbell is survived by a host of loving family, including his wife of 29 years Peggy McLaughlin; children, Stewart (Clare) McLaughlin, Michelle McLaughlin, Nicola McLaughlin, MacKenzie McLaughin, Gannon McLaughlin; his eight grandchildren Louise Maxwell, Keane McAteer, Carrie McAteer, Brooklyn Maxwell, Rubi McLaughlin, Max McLaughlin, Poppy McLaughlin and Emily Flynn; and also his siblings Stewart McLaughlin, Karen McIver, and Laura Gendt. He is also survived many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held Aug. 5, 2023 at 1 p.m. at the Unalaska Christian Fellowship Church followed by a Celebration of Life Potluck at 5 p.m. at the Dickerson Shop across from tennis courts in Unalaska Valley.