Joan MacKenzie Laughlin


Joan MacKenzie Laughlin, 84, lifelong resident of Superior, passed away peacefully on April 8, 2021 at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN.

Joan was born June 9, 1936 to Julia (Johnson) and James MacKenzie at St. Francis Hospital in Superior, WI. She attended Nelson Dewey Grade School and graduated from Superior East High School in 1954 on her 18th birthday. She graduated from the former Superior State College (now University of Wisconsin-Superior) in January of 1959 with a major in English and a minor in Journalism. She was a substitute teacher in Superior until becoming the Society Editor of the Superior Evening Telegram. She left that job when she became a mother to her children, Eddie and then Cherie. She was active in the PTA, Cub and Boy Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts when her children were young. She was also a member of Faith United Methodist Church and the UWS Alumni Association. Joan later worked as a department manager and buyer at Bagley and Company Jewelers in Duluth, until retiring to provide daycare for her grandson, Tom.

Joan loved being with her family and friends. She enjoyed reading, her home, and traveling, especially with the Rossings and the Drolsons. She was a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings and she loved to talk.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved son, Edward James Rutledge, her brother-in-law, Don Drolson and a niece, Jill Bonnetti Clark. She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Del Laughlin, her daughter and son-in-law Cherie and Will Rossing, and her dear grandchildren, Tom Hinkle (Samantha Garcia) and Mollie Rossing. She is also survived by her sister, Janet Drolson, sister-in-law Ellen (Jerry) Stair, former sister-in-law Nancy Bonnetti, nieces Julie Tietje, Lyn Isaacson, Robin Belford, Kim Trainor, Chris Ellen Bonnetti and Tami Bonnetti, and nephew David Drolson. Joan is also survived by her step-children Kevin Laughlin, Maren (Jim Pekar) Laughlin, Paul (Liane) Laughlin, Dane (Traci) Laughlin, Peter (Claire Chen) Laughlin, and Robyn (Dave) Eron as well as step-grandchildren Alex and Noah Laughlin, Sam, Charlie and Owen Eron, and Coco Laughlin. Joan also had a lot of longtime, special friends.

Joan was a wonderful, loving mother, grandmother and wife and will be deeply missed by her family. The family would like to thank the medical staff from 4 East at St. Mary’s Medical Center and the staff from Twin Ports Health Services for all of their compassionate care.

Per Joan’s wishes, there will be no public service. A time of remembering and gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the UW-Superior Foundation in Joan’s name. Joan’s name will then be added to the Edward J. Rutledge Memorial Fireplace in the Yellowjacket Union, her alma mater was near and dear to her heart.

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