Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joe Laughlin . . . I will miss him . . .

Just a quick note that Joe Laughlin, for 39 years my dearest friend in the entire world, my adopted older brother (or did he adopt me?), my guitar teacher . . . and a master guitarist in his own right, passed away in Houston in the early morning hours of Friday, September 5th.  My wife and I had the honor of being with Joe's wife Riva (our dear friend and sister for 39 years) and other family when Joe took his last breath.

I will be writing more on this in the coming days . . .

God's grace still amazes me . . . even with this broken heart  . . . ><>


___________


Wilbern Joseph Laughlin, Jr. (guitar fingerpicker, author, philosopher, chemist, raconteur, husband of Riva and daddy to dog-son Buddy) passed away on September 5, 2014 in Houston, Texas after a long illness. He was born on January 18, 1953 in Galena Park, Texas to Wilbern Joseph "Boots" Laughlin and Mary Harbuck "Jane" Laughlin.
Joe graduated from Galena Park High School in 1971. He attended the University of Houston and then transferred to Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. He graduated with a double major in Biology and Chemistry in 1976. He married Riva Denise Padgett on June 12, 1976.
Joe worked in the labs with NL Industries for 10 years and then followed his heart to his true calling - teaching. He taught Advanced Placement Chemistry at Robert E. Lee High School for almost 20 years, retiring in 2005.
Joe had two great loves in his life - his guitars and his wife, in that order. His musical loves spanned the genres. He sang with the Houston Symphony Orchestra Chorale for 10 years, sang in church choirs, belonged to the North Harris County Dulcimer Society and the Bay Area Bluegrass Association, and played his guitar at any and all opportunities.
Joe was preceeded in death by his parents and his older brother, Col. Michael D. Laughlin. He is survived by his wife, Riva, his nephew Mike B. Laughlin, and his niece Amy Laughlin.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hugworks, a program that provides therapeutic music to children and senior adults. You can make a donation online at http://www.hugworks.org/, or can mail a donation to Hugworks, 752 Mary Dr., Hurst, TX 76053.


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