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HomeObituariesGeneral Earl O'Loughlin (USAF), 93, of East Tawas

General Earl O’Loughlin (USAF), 93, of East Tawas

Earl Terrence O’Loughlin, age 93 of East Tawas, Michigan went to be with the Lord on November 10, 2023 after a long illness. He was surrounded by his children and beloved wife Thelma.

Earl was preceded in death by his high school sweetheart and wife of 51 years, Shirlee Jean Benninghaus of East Tawas, Michigan, his parents Terrence (Bill) and Lutie O’Loughlin and his sister and brother-in-law, Lutie and Tom McLaughlan. He is survived by his wife Thelma Bentley O’Loughlin of 19 years, his sister Teri O’Loughlin Edwards (John) of Anaheim, CA; his children Kimberly O’Loughlin Young (Doug) of Grand Rapids, MI; Kevin O’Loughlin (Deborah) of East Tawas, MI; Kelly O’Loughlin (Nina) of East Tawas, MI; and Kristin O’Loughlin Rudin (John) of White Bear Lake, MN. Earl is survived by 10 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, multiple other family members and friends all over the world.

Earl was born in Bay City, MI. He moved to East Tawas as a young boy and was raised in East Tawas, hunting, fishing and watching the airplanes flying training missions. After High School graduation he went to Bay City Junior College before he enlisted in the Air Force. He eventually was awarded a pilot training slot then went on to have an amazing career and traveled the world. He and Shirlee moved back to their home town for retirement in 1987.

Earl and Thelma married in 2004, and enjoyed many adventures together including traveling to; New Zealand, France, an Alaskan Cruise and the Panama Canal and enjoying their homes in Tucson, AZ and East Tawas, MI. Earl was a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW, the Kanotin Club, the Tawas Men’s club, the Elks, the Air Force Association and the Friday Pilots of Tucson. Earl always had a special interest in ensuring his community thrived. He was instrumental in buying, creating and chairing the Huron Community Bank.

One of Earl’s great joys was to sponsor young people to the Service Academies. He assisted over 40 young people in achieving those specific goals and touched countless others through his mentorship. Earl was a loving husband, dad, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, and friend. He loved hunting, fishing, golf, and loved an audience, he was a great story teller and an author. Many will remember his “Earlisms”. Most of all he was an amazing patriot. He loved his country and lived by the phrase “Freedom isn’t Free”.

A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at the Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City, MI. Pastor Jeff Loomis will be the celebrant and the interment will follow in the American Legion Cemetery in East Tawas, MI. The family will receive friends on Monday from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. You may offer condolences at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com. Biography link for Earl: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/106032/general-earl-t-oloughlin/

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