Delwin O. Laughridge, 72, of Carol Stream, Ill., passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at Glen Oaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, after a second battle with cancer that took his body, but never his spirit.
He was born, Sept. 24, 1939, in Minot, N.D., the son of Roy and Buela Laughridge.
Delwin grew up on a rural farm in Minot and attended local schools. He graduated from Surrey High School with the class of 1958.
A special young lady who taught at a local parish school caught the eye of Delwin, who was a parishioner at the time. Marliss stole his heart, but gave hers in return. They began a 50-year love affair on Jan. 27, 1962, in Mitchell, S. D. Married at last, they began their new life together in Minot, N.D., for a time before moving to the Chicago area and making a home in Villa Park, Ill.
Delwin worked at the Gerber Food Company until an opportunity to change jobs took them to Denver, Colo., where he became a service parts manager. Omaha, Neb., became home when he accepted the new title of sales branch manager, and before long, Delwin moved up again when he accepted the position of service parts regional manager in Carol Stream.
Delwin’s work ethic was second to none, so it was no surprise that he took on a six-state sales territory for Oreck before buying into Carpet Express, which still operates today.
Delwin was a faithful member and elder at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in La Fox. There he taught bible class for over 20 years. Delwin enjoyed helping people learn and grow in the Word, but he also liked the challenge it presented him, helping to look inside himself and hear what God was saying. In earlier years, Delwin loved to knock all 10 pins down while playing in one of his bowling leagues.
Delwin had an incredibly big heart with room enough for all. He never met a stranger and was quick to share his infectious sense of humor bringing smiles and a laughter from all. He was a self-made man whose home was his castle. Delwin was often found caring for his lawn and garden, making sure everything was just right, especially his prized Hibiscus. The fountains, grills, lawn mowers and snow blowers were only purchased after meticulous shopping to find just the right one. After all the yard work was complete, he’d cap off the day, admiring his work while grilling in his back yard.
Delwin was no slouch in the garage, either, as his hands, dirty from grease, would deftly repair anything and everything, from the clutch on his daughter’s car to building a car from scratch alongside his son. He even taught others how to handle their own maintenance.
Delwin enjoyed traveling, too. His trips to Acapulco, Puerto Rico and Cancun with Marliss, along with family reunions in North Dakota and Disney cruises with his grandchildren, were filled with enough memories to last generations. One of his last trips was no exception when they left on a road trip with no destination, plans or time constraints, eventually reaching the “end” when they came to Salt Lake City.
Delwin was also an avid reader of mysteries full of intrigue and governmental conspiracies. When he wasn’t on the road, Delwin loved to catch some of his favorite shows and games on the television. He was fan of crime dramas like “CSI,” “24” and “Person of Interest.” “American Idol,” “Jeopardy,” and “Wheel of Fortune” found spots on his list of things to watch, but sports always came first. NASCAR, the Denver Broncos and the White Sox demanded his attention, although the latter was just to antagonize his son-in-law, who is a Cubs fan.
The most important things in his life were his family. His steadfast faith was the bedrock on which he built a life that would mirror the scriptures, and he was proud to call Jesus his personal Savior. He was forever learning about himself, and would freely share the wisdom learned from his own mistakes. Delwin always strove for unconditional love and to be the best man he could be for his wife, children and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When his cancer first struck, he fought valiantly and won, but unfortunately that victory would be short lived. The cancer returned, but Delwin’s faith kept him strong for as long as it could, and despite all the hardships, you never would hear him complain. Delwin was indeed a great man who will never be forgotten.
He is survived by his wife, Marliss; three children, Delwin “Chip” (Denise) Laughridge II, Christine (Van) Harrington and Eric (Nicole) Laughridge; eight grandchildren, Rebekah (Seth), Hatley, Alex, Kallie, Jonah, Lisa, Vanny, Colin; four great-grandchildren, Tirzah, Jeremiah, Levi and Silas; six brothers, Stan (Jo) Laughridge, Gary (Helen) Laughridge, Del (Marilynn) Laughridge, Jack Laughridge, Garth (Sue) Laughridge and Craig (Wendy) Laughridge;many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
He is preceded in death by his father Roy, mother Buela, step-mother Helen, and one brother, Gary “Butch” Laughridge.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 1, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, on the corner of La Fox Rd. and Route 38. A funeral service to celebrate his life will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, also at the church. Rev. Phil Ressler, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private family interment will follow cremation at a later date.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in his name to support Lord of Life mission trips, as well as a scholarship to benefit children attending Lord Of Life Pre-School. Checks may be made to the “Delwin Laughridge Memorial” and mailed in care P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.