In Memory of



Obituary for Charles Laughlin

Charles Douglas “Doug” Laughlin was born in the town of Vinton, VA on May 2, 1932, and passed away at his home, not more than 50 feet away from his birthplace on Friday, February 24, 2023.

Doug was preceded in death by his parents, James Thomas Laughlin and Mary (nee` Spickard) and his wife, Norma Lee (nee` Neff), of 46 years. Doug’s siblings, William Laughlin, Evelyn Byrd, June Kelly, Jack Laughlin, and niece, Nada Kelly, also preceded him in death.

Doug is survived by his children, David Laughlin and wife, Sharon Sheppard, Cindy Kakouras and husband, Van, and Kim Harris and husband, Kevin. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Regan and Aiden Laughlin, Martha Kakouras Gibbs and husband, Jacob Gibbs, Emily and George Kakouras, and Jared Harris, as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition, the family of Doug would like to recognize his dear friends, Molly and James Thomas and family, and Gary Cooper.

Doug attended Roland E. Cook and the old William Byrd Junior and Senior High Schools, where he played football and graduated in 1951. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1952, and he was stationed in Mainz Germany from 1953-1954 where he worked in communications at the base.

After serving overseas, he met the love of his life, Norma, through friends and married in 1959. Initially, the young couple lived on Jefferson Street in Roanoke. By 1961, he moved his wife and young son to their new home which was being built on the homeplace property for them.

Doug was one of the first employees of the new industry General Electric (GE) when it came to the Roanoke Valley. He retired in 1988. Prior to his time with GE, he was a fireman for Norfolk and Western. In his spare time, he loved woodworking, and he created his version of the “Cat’s Meow,” which he called “Dog’s Bark.” Doug’s love for animals included dogs and cats. In his later years, Doug could be seen on his regular walks on the Wolf Creek Greenway.

Doug was on the cradle roll at Vinton Baptist Church where he continued to actively participate during the past 90 years. He was in attendance the previous Sunday where church members remarked how wonderful he was and how beloved.

Doug hoped to be remembered as a good husband, a good father, and a good soldier and he absolutely was. He served all three with humor, humility, and honor.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at Oakey’s Vinton Chapel. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, Vinton. The family received friends on Monday, February 27, 2023, from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm, and one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests either donations to be made to Vinton Baptist Church in memory of Doug Laughlin or to the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Arrangements by Oakey’s Funeral Service – Vinton Chapel, Vinton, VA (540) 982-2221.