Cover photo for Robert Allan Mclaughlin's Obituary
Robert Allan Mclaughlin Profile Photo
1942 Robert 2023

Robert Allan Mclaughlin

August 9, 1942 — October 1, 2023

Robert Allan McLaughlin, 81, of Pocatello, passed away on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Robert was born August 9, 1942 in Pocatello, Idaho, to Robert H. McLaughlin and Avanell J. McLaughlin.


He was raised in Pocatello and graduated from Pocatello High School in 1960. He was a member of the 1st Presbyterian Church where he served in several roles including Ruling Elder.


In 1964 he married his high school sweetheart Diana Gaskins and together they had 3 children: Scot (deceased), James, and Heather. They were married for 59 years and their life together can best be described as "The sum of two is greater than the individual ... two in one".


Robert graduated in 1965 from Idaho State University with a B.S. degree in Business Engineering.

In 1965 Robert entered the United States Navy and went to Naval Air Training in Pensacola, Florida. On March 24, 1967 he was designated a Naval Aviator (pilot) by the Chief of Naval Air Training and was awarded his wings of gold. He served two tours of duty with VP-17 in Viet Nam and in 1970 he returned to Pensacola as a Naval Flight Instructor. He served in this capacity until 1972 when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant.


After the Navy, Robert worked as a mechanical engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Nebraska, before being transferred back home to Pocatello where he served as the wheel shop engineer in 1973. He subsequently worked as the general manager for Allied Steel, Inc. for many years. He then oversaw the construction of the Bannock County Jail and worked for the county until his retirement.


Robert had a keen interest in aviation and railroad history. He was a member of the Skyriders flying club for many years. He had a wide variety of other interests including art and music, spending time outdoors with his family skiing, hiking and camping. Robert loved all of his many pets over the years and was always ready with a hug or an ear scratch. He was a quiet but beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.


Robert was preceded in death by his parents and son Scot. He is survived by his wife Diana, son James, daughter Heather (Joe) Gunter and his grandchildren Andrew and Allison Gunter.


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 2 pm at Wilks Colonial Chapel, 2005 S. 4th Avenue in Pocatello, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Idaho Food Bank.


Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the "Tribute Wall" tab above.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Allan Mclaughlin, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, November 4, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Mountain time)

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