Joseph Patrick McLaughlin of White Plains passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, surrounded by his loving family in his 78th year. He was born on February 1, 1945, to Joe and Rose McLaughlin. He grew up in the Bronx, a fact he was very proud of and loved to regale everyone with stories from the Bronx and the neighborhoods where he grew up with his 5 brothers and 2 sisters. From working at the Bronx Zoo at age 14 to playing stick ball in the streets, to working at the A&P and post office, he had many fond memories from growing up there including meeting his beautiful, future wife, Claire Longinotti from the Parkchester section of the Bronx. Classmates in high school, they were friends before they dated until one fateful party in 1963 where Joe asked Claire out and she said yes, and they enjoyed going to dances at the school and a crowd of friends whose friendships spanned the decades through today. They married on October 7, 1967 and moved to Waring Avenue in the Bronx where they began their life together.
Joe graduated from Iona College and then embarked on a teaching career which would span 4 decades – beginning at his alma mater, St. Helena’s in the Bronx, and then moving to Harrison High School where he taught English with passion and persistence to help young developing minds be able to understand literature and writing and the fine art of Shakespeare – reading it aloud with the class to help illustrate the poetry and the meaning of the words. He also coached basketball and spent countless hours tutoring in his off time. In addition to teaching, he took on the role of president of the Harrison Association of Teachers– advocating and negotiating on behalf of the faculty. He also represented ED 15 on the NYSUT Board and served on the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust Board of Trustees. He became a teacher representative board member for New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS), his six terms eventually landed him in the position of president of the TRS board, the first teacher member to hold that office. As a retiree, he was elected and served as At Large Director for ED 51-53, representing retirees. He also served on the Board of Trustees for Westchester Community College. With each role he took on he continued to passionately advocate for the membership and those he represented.
In his off time, he enjoyed dinners and nights out with his wife Claire and friends, countless hours coaching his children’s various sports teams and taking them to local parks to swim in the summer, to drive-in movies at night, to amazing traveling vacations within the US to Italy, Greece, Israel, Ireland and more. In his retirement when he wasn’t reading the paper, or watching the news or sports, you could find him cheering along the sidelines as his grandkids competed in football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse, as well as performed in school concerts and musicals, embarked on forays into student government and more.
He loved his family - a big rambling Irish-Scottish-American family which grew and branched out to become a global and multicultural group with members near and far - and took great pride in his roots and instilled that in his children and grandchildren. His influence can be seen in those that survive him and his legacy will continue in all that we do.
Joe is survived by his wife of 56 years, Claire, children Danielle, Joseph, and Jennifer, daughter-in-law Julie, grandkids Analese, Lucas, Aidan, Daniel, Declan and Joseph Henry, his brothers Jim, Michael, Danny, Bobby and sisters Rosemary and Jeanmarie, and by his beloved sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Johnny.
He will be missed, without doubt, and he will be remembered with love.
Family and friends are invited to Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc. 575 Columbus Avenue - Thornwood, New York 10594 on Sunday, April 16, 2023 from 3:00 - 8:00 PM for visitation. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Joseph at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Valhalla on Monday, April 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM. Committal services will be private after the funeral mass.
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