Obituary of Rita Karen McLaughlin
Rita “Karen” Ainslie was born on May 29, 1938, in Monroe, Michigan. She was one of three children and the only daughter born to Thomas and Deliase (Philippart) Ainslie. Karen graduated from Monroe High School with the Class of 1956. She later attended art classes at Eastern Michigan University where she met the love of her life, Michael Bernard McLaughlin Jr.
On August 31, 1957, Karen and Michael were joined in marriage at St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe. From this union came the birth of five children. For more than twenty-five years they were parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church.
Although Karen dedicated much of her life to caring for her family, she took employment outside the home as an opportunity to meet people. She drove school bus for Jefferson Public Schools, dabbled in real estate with several local companies including Foster Realty Group, worked as an administrator at Monroe County Opportunity Program, and as a receptionist for the Friendly Ford car dealership.
Many wonderful memories were made at the family cottage on the Les Cheneaux Islands in Northern Michigan. There her days were filled with water skiing, boating, playing Mexican Train Dominos, and meticulously arranging the rocks along a path in front of the cottage. However, most importantly, she cherished time spent with her children and grandchildren. Karen and her husband also took a memorable trip to Ireland where they were reunited with long-lost relatives.
Always laughing and joking, Karen had a great sense of humor. Her love of coffee was well known. She drank it around the clock and enjoyed nothing more than sipping on a hot cup of Joe while playing a game of Solitaire or working a crossword puzzle. A talented artist and crafter, Karen created exquisite jewelry pieces and paintings. She took great pride in her home and decorated it beautifully inside and out. Karen loved the holiday season spending four full days each year putting up Christmas décor. Having all her loved ones gathered under her roof to celebrate brought Karen abundant joy.
Rita Karen McLaughlin, age 84, of Monroe, passed away peacefully at home on Monday; December 19, 2022. Her passing was preceded by her parents; her husband of sixty-five years: Michael McLaughlin Jr. on July 7, 2022; a son: Patrick J. McLaughlin; and a brother: Tom Ainslie.
Left to cherish her memory are four children: Erin Copi of Monroe, Kathleen (Ron) Turner of Carleton, Michigan, John (Lisa) McLaughlin of Monroe, and Daniel (Lisa) McLaughlin of Monroe; twelve grandchildren; twenty-one great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; a brother: John (Diane) Ainslie; a sister in-law: Terry Lowry; and a special cousin: Marjorie McBee.
Friends may gather on Monday; December 26, 2022, from 2:00pm until 8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. Karen will lie in state from 10:00am until the time of the Mass of Resurrection at 11:00am on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church; 502 West Front Street, Monroe, Michigan 48161. Cremation will take place through the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation in Erie, Michigan.
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