John P. McLaughlin, 91


John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

PORTLAND — John P. McLaughlin, 91, of Portland died on Thursday, April 7, 2016, at his home.

John was born in Wakefield, Mass., on March 1, 1925, the son of John and Annabell (Glynn) McLaughlin. At the age of 8, he met the love of his life, Anne Clancy. They would have been married 70 years in September; with his devoted wife, Anne, supporting his life every step of the way.

He served as a signalman on the Liberty Ship Frank Wiggins in the U.S. Navy during WWII, seeing action on North Atlantic convoys and participated in the D-Day invasion. After returning, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in food technology.

He worked for many food manufacturing companies: Nestlé, Dromedary, General Foods, Birdseye and Snows Canning Company at Pine Point, forever cementing his relationship with his beloved coast of Maine.

He was instrumental in developing food products including the “Tiny Tater,” frozen fish sticks, iced tea in a can, powdered hot chocolate, clam cakes in a can, flavored water, various freeze dried products and cookie mixes. He often used his family as guinea pigs, testing his latest invention.

John was active in the Boy Scouts, Knights of Columbus, Democratic Committee of Paterson, N.Y., chairman of the Long Island Planning Committee, chairman of the St. Andre’s Group Home Development Committee in Biddeford and chairman of the Maryland Section of International Food Technologists. He served on a special White House Committee on food safety.

His creativity was not limited to food. John played the guitar, loved gardening, painting, walking and belonged to a writers group into his 90s at the Community Cancer Center in South Portland. He wrote poetry and short stories, played music, always initiating collaborations with his seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

John is survived by his wife, Anne; sons, John McLaughlin of Standish and Bob McLaughlin of Sebago; daughters, Gail McLaughlin of Millis, Mass. and Charlene Weir of Bass Harbor; and seven grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. A memorial service will begin at 3:30 p.m., at the funeral home. To visit John’s memorial page or offer online condolences, please visit:

Memorial donations may be made in John’s name to: St. Andre Home/Hope Rising, 283 Elm Street, Biddeford, ME 04005 or

Please follow and like us: