J. Robert McLaughlin, auto distributor, dies at 94

July 30, 2013

J. Robert McLaughlin, a former auto distributor for Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the Washington area, died July 19 at a health-care facility in Kinston, N.C. He was 94.

He had Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, Robert McLaughlin.

James Robert McLaughlin, who was known as Bob, was born in Trenton, N.J. He served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he worked for Ford Motor Co. in New Jersey while attending Rutgers University, from which he graduated in 1954.

He then moved to Silver Spring and became a Lincoln-Mercury distributor.

His first wife, Winifred Maher McLaughlin, died in 1972 after 32 years of marriage.

In 1977, he married Betty Durham. They retired to Kinston in 1979. She died in 2003.

Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Robert McLaughlin of Machipongo, Va., and Helen Lechner of Palo Alto, Calif.; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes