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Published May 14 2012

Forum editorial: McLaughlin led a life of service

One of the last times Jim McLaughlin appeared in public was a few months ago when he received The Legacy Award from the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It was an appropriate honor for a civic and business leader whose legacy in his community is admirable, indeed.

McLaughlin died last week at age 86. Funeral services begin today and conclude Wednesday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo.

If ever there was a resident of Fargo who understood the connection between professional life and community service, it was McLaughlin. Throughout his more than 40 years with Ulteig Engineering (capping his career as president of the company), he always made time for public service. His expertise in water management was legendary, and he was recognized several times with top honors in the field. He saw the work he did for flood control and other water management disciplines as integral to building a better community. The list of successful projects that bear his stamp is lengthy. The flood protection and improved water quality residents of the region take for granted today were among his many accomplishments.

But his professional life was only part of McLaughlin’s full life. His passion for baseball and the career of Roger Maris never waned. And even as the Minnesota Twins had their ups and downs, he remained a steadfast fan.

He also was committed to enhancing the game through his work with youth baseball. He was on the Fargo American Legion Baseball Committee for four decades.

The list of volunteer offices he held through the years covers the gamut from the Boy Scouts to the Fargodome, from the chamber to the Red River Joint Board.

In directing so much of his professional skill and volunteer enthusiasm to his community, he made Fargo and its environs better places to live and work. His influence and accomplishments built a legacy that will endure.

We join his family, friends and admirers in celebrating his life.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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