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John G McLachlan

August 3, 1936 — May 3, 2020

On Sunday evening, May 3, 2020, John G. McLachlan, 83, left this earthly life in the arms of his loving wife of more than 60 years.

John was born August 3, 1936 in White Twp., Indiana Co., Pennsylvania.  He married his Mount Union College sweetheart, Sandra Starr, on June 14, 1959 and together they raised two children, Daniel and Karen.  He received his Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology in 1962 and served numerous churches in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church both before and after his retirement in 1996.  John and Sandy were always a team, serving not only in the local parish but also leading Marriage Encounter weekends on the state and national level.

Being a pastor was John’s dream and the first step meant acquiring his local preacher’s license at age 16.  He had a passion for youth, culminating in 1982-86 when he served as Associate Director for Youth Ministries of the E. O. Conference Council on Ministries.  John was community involvement, from helping the basketball team with their foul shots, serving on the local fire department and waiting tables at the mystery theater, to driving the band bus and selling popcorn for the Band Boosters, captaining a mule-drawn canal boat, and helping with the Riceland Junior Golf League.  Music was a part of him as he played the guitar around the campfire with youth, shared his tenor voice in college and church choirs, and danced the night away with his sweetheart.  A “saver,” he still had the heavy, canvas paper-bags and card punch from his own paper route days to give to Dan and Karen as they pursued theirs. He enjoyed frequenting auctions and sales, always on the lookout for special treasures no matter where they might be found.   John loved working with his hands, cutting trees in his woods and undertaking the electrical and plumbing installation as well as splitting all the fieldstone for the fireplace as he and Sandy built Josandaka, their retirement dream home,  a special place they shared with many others for retreats and meetings.

John is survived by his wife Sandra, his children Daniel (Kandi) and Karen, granddaughters Rachael and Becca, and his sister-in-law Jean.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Helen, and his brother, Glen.  A private burial is planned for now with Cassady-Turkle-Christian in Alliance, OH.  A public celebration of life will be held when it is again safe to gather after COVID-19.  Condolences may be left at their website,  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Youngstown, OH  44512.

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