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Martha "Marty" M. Laughlin

Obituary for Martha "Marty" M. Laughlin

March 4, 1931 - January 23, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 88


On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Martha "Marty" M. Laughlin, loving wife and beloved mother of eight girls, passed away at the age of 88. She had great courage and strength her entire life, including living the last two years fighting brain cancer before joining the Lord at her home in San Antonio, Texas.

Martha was born on March 4, 1931, in Tiffin, OH, to Clarence J. and Marie (Buchman) Welter as the fifth of fourteen children. As the high school valedictorian, she left the farm for college with a scholarship in 1948. Marty later transferred to Mt. Carmel Nursing School in Columbus, OH, where she pursued her lifelong interest in nursing and health. She completed her RN degree at the top of her class as "Miss Student Nurse" in 1953. Marty met Air Force pilot David A. Laughlin, a Second Lieutenant, in Columbus, OH, and they married on November 28, 1953. David's career as a pilot, for both the Air Force and American Airlines, took their family to New York, Boston and Chicago, before settling in Downers Grove, Illinois, for 36 years. During that time, Marty worked as a nurse, volunteered at her daughters' Catholic schools, and returned to college, earning a Bachelor of Science from the College of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. After David retired, he and Marty moved to San Antonio, TX, in 1996 for a warmer climate near family.

Marty had a great appreciation for the arts, and encouraged her daughters interests in dance, arts and crafts, music lessons, and sewing. An avid fan of ballet and opera, she took her family on occasional visits to Chicago for performances of "The Nutcracker at Christmas" and The Opera at Chicago's Civic Opera House. She led active summers with her children, through biking as well as tennis, swimming, and diving lessons.

Among her many talents, Marty was an incredible cook. Rarely one to follow a recipe, she often created amazing meals inspired by clippings from newspapers, magazines or Captain Dave's travels. She also loved to sew; she made many memorable costumes for her daughters growing up, and her grandchildren later in life. She passed on her love of running to several of her daughters. Later in life, Marty continued to volunteer at track and cross country meets, became a certified USA track official, and attended every U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trial from the year 2000 on.

Marty's other passions included reading and religion. A devout Catholic, she attended mass nearly every day, and was a long-time parishioner at St. Mary of Gostyn in Downers Grove, IL, and later, St. Matthew in San Antonio. Marty's faith fueled great courage of her convictions. She loved debating current issues with her family, and while she never got angry when someone disagreed, she also never gave up trying to change their mind. She spent her retirement traveling with David and their friends, and visiting and taking trips with her daughters. As a resident of Texas for 24 years, Marty especially loved seeing her grandchildren grow up. The family is grateful for the love and support provided by the 8:15 mass family and the breakfast friends she met at her regular spots.

Martha M. "Marty" Laughlin is survived by her husband of 66 years, David A. Laughlin; daughters Christine (Clint Thatcher) Laughlin, Daria (Tim) McLeod, Deirdre (Mark) Novacek, Maureen (Alberto Flores) Laughlin, Katie (Steven) Isenberg, Sheila (Steve) Boyce, Marta (Rob) Rhyner, and Terese (John Fleischli) Laughlin; 19 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; and siblings Joe Welter, Genie (Welter) Sanders,
Tom Welter, Gerry (Welter) Sparks, and Rosie (Welter) Sanders. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Marie Welter; and siblings Jim Welter, Betty (Welter) Skopek, Margie (Welter) Troyan, Alice (Welter) Sanders, Marilyn Welter, Carolyn Welter, Donny Welter and Janet (Welter) Watkins.

10:00 A.M.

In lieu of flowers, Marty requested that memorials be made to Texas Right to Life. Information can be found online at

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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