Dorothea F. Laughlin

Dorothea F. Laughlin, 94, of Rumford, passed away surrounded by family at her home on Sunday, March 28, 2021.  She was the wife of the late Richard D. Laughlin, Jr. They married in 1947 and were married for 58 years until his death in 2005.  During the first thirteen years of their marriage, Dorothea and Richard lived in the City of Providence. In 1960, they moved to the city of East Providence after Richard designed and built their home at 125 Apulia Street.


Born in North Providence, she was a daughter of the late George H. and Ada (Taylor) Washington.  Dorothea was employed as a school bus driver for the City of East Providence for six years. Over the years, Dorothea distinguished herself as a woman of integrity and faith. She was highly regarded by her family, friends and neighbors and was actively involved in her church and community. Dorothea graduated from North Providence High School in 1944 and since her teenage years, she was a Christian and an active member of a church where she enjoyed singing in the church choir.  While raising her family in East Providence, Dorothea organized several projects to keep the neighborhood youth actively involved in their community. In 1970, Dorothea joined others in advocating for a community center for youth. Their efforts resulted in the opening of the “East Providence Drop-In Center”.


She served as a Deaconess at Pond Street Baptist Church for over 25 years. In 1974, she was honored by the church as “Mother of the Year”. In 1976, she was again chosen “Bicentennial Mother of the Year” by the Irreproachable Beneficial Association (IBA). Dorothea was an active member of the East Providence Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for over 25 years. During that time, she served a one year stint as the President of the PTA for Emma G. Whiteknact Elementary School and also the East Providence High School. In 1977, she was awarded a life membership in the Rhode Island Congress of PTA’s.  Along with her four daughters and one of her sons, Dorothea formed a gospel singing group and they became known as the Laughlin Family Singers. They sang a Capella at churches throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New Jersey.  She also authored three books, “Your Honor We Have the Evidence, God is Real”, “Jesus, the Perfect Example of Love”, and “My Story Coloring Book”.  All of her books are listed in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She also wrote one song entitled, “There is Victory in Jesus” which was recorded by Rainbow Records of Hollywood, CA.  In 1997, she became a member of the Hope Congregational Church, UCC  on Wampanoag Trail and at the age of 93, she still continued to sing in the church choir.


Dorothea and Richard were the proud parents of ten children, Cora E. Rose of East Providence, Marsha C. Snead of Warwick, Richard D. Laughlin, III of Providence, Gary C. Laughlin of Chesapeake, Virginia, Lenora M. Johnson of Pittsburgh, Cheryl A. Burrell of Rumford, Steven D. Laughlin of East Providence, Brian E. Laughlin of Riverside, Paul R. Laughlin of North Providence, and Neal E. Laughlin of East Providence, 26 grandchildren, 54 great grandchildren, 4 great great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late George Washington, Earl Washington, Irving Washington, Lawrence Washington, Carol Washington, Donald Washington and Barbara Locket.


Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, her funeral service will be private. A celebration of her life will be held at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory would be appreciated and can be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.





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55 entries.
Nancy Davis Wilson from Rumford wrote on July 12, 2021 at 9:58 pm
My deepest condolences..i remember her at pond St church when my mother her cousin.pauline Adams Davis sang in the choir. A wonderful mother & strong family.
Guy & Isabel Blakely from Riverside wrote on April 14, 2021 at 11:55 am
To the Laughlin Family, So sorry for the loss of your mother. May your memories carry through your difficult times.
john johnson from east prov wrote on April 6, 2021 at 10:44 am
I am so sorry for your loss.
Dorothy McCollough from Providence wrote on April 4, 2021 at 10:21 pm
My condolence to the Laughlin Family. What a lovely Mother was she. May you all fine comfort knowing that we all share in your time of grief. We will pray for you. May she Rest In Peace .
Eric and Kristen Harrell from Arlington Heights wrote on April 3, 2021 at 4:11 pm
Our thoughts and prayers from Illinois are with you aunt Cheryl and uncle Joe. So sorry for your loss.
Brenda Andrade from Land O'Lakes wrote on April 3, 2021 at 4:00 pm
To the entire Laughlin Family, I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of your mother. She was simply an amazing woman. I will always remember our talks and her singing at Sheldon Street Church. She was a beautiful woman inside and out. Definitely a class act. You all are in my deepest prayers. God Bless
Edwina Cooley from East Providence wrote on April 3, 2021 at 1:04 am
To All the members of the Laughlin Family, My sympathies at the going home of your loved one. Mrs Laughlin will always be remembered by me as a woman of great faith and wisdom because she loved the Lord and his word She’s in good hands, the same hands that will hold your hearts. May Jesus draw closer than any other face and comfort you all at this most difficult time 💐
Judy Wills from East Greenwich wrote on April 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm
To Cheryl and entire Laughlin Family. Reflections of your Mom, a life truly worth celebrating. First met her while attending Pond St. Church. She always had a Joyful Spirit & Voice. Truly one of “RI Black Women Who Are Making A Difference“ long before these awards were created. Another Angel called home and joining God’s heavenly choir. RIP. Offering prayers of comfort to her family, friends, all those whose lives she touched. Keep her Light Shinning!
Daniel Shorts from East Providence wrote on April 1, 2021 at 10:37 pm
Deepest sympathy to the Laughlin family for the loss of a friend, family member and their beloved mother who will be sadly missed 😢. Rest in eternal life 🙏💙
Alex & Shirley Ferreira from East Providence wrote on April 1, 2021 at 6:41 pm
Our condolences go out to the Laughlin family. Your mother was a very nice and friendly woman. I’ll always will remember her laugh. She will be missed.
Deacon Evelyn and Raymond Thompson from providence wrote on April 1, 2021 at 4:15 pm
Our prayer are with you in your time of sorrow
John and Koreen Vaz Jr. from Prosper, TX wrote on April 1, 2021 at 11:21 am
Dear Laughlin Family, We are sorry for the passing of your mother. May God bless and comfort you during this difficult time.
Stan & Kai Cameron from Providence RI wrote on April 1, 2021 at 9:41 am
Our hearts are heavy as we send sincere condolences to the beautiful Laughlin family. We are grateful to have been part of your Lives over these many years. Your Mother will always be remembered and greatly missed. Our love for your family will remain. RIP
Debbie L Scott from East Providence wrote on April 1, 2021 at 5:17 am
My thoughts and prayers are with the Kaughlin family during this time of sorrow.
Barbara Thomas/Coogan from East Providence wrote on April 1, 2021 at 5:09 am
I send my condolences to all of you
Emily Thomas from East Providence wrote on March 31, 2021 at 5:24 pm
My deepest sympathy to the family of Mrs Laughlin. " Cheese and Crackers" I met you over 50 yrs ago in the home of a mutual friend. I'll never forget you.
Diane Nelson-Roberts from Providence wrote on March 31, 2021 at 4:07 pm
My Sincere Condolences to the family.
Mary Cameron from Providence wrote on March 31, 2021 at 3:20 pm
My sincere condolences are extended to the family at the passing of Ms. Laughlin.My thoughts and prayers are extended to each family member as you grieve the loss of your mother. What a wonderful legacy she leaves.
Tony Delgado from Boston wrote on March 31, 2021 at 2:18 pm
My deepest condolences to All of the Laughlin extended family... Your mom was a staple in our community, and helpful to all the children in the community... A very Nice woman...God bless you all in this sad time...
Linda Edmonds- Lima from Atlanta, GA wrote on March 31, 2021 at 1:16 pm
Rest now, Aunt Dottie. Your work on earth has touched so many. We are all better off having had you in our lives. Love and peace to all the family. Linda, John and family