Alexander Laughlin Jr.

Feb. 20, 1952 - June 01, 2016
Alexander Laughlin Jr., Feb. 20, 1952 - June 01, 2016

Alexander Mellon Laughlin Jr., a summer resident of East Hampton who had a career in private equity after working in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, died after a heart attack on June 1 while playing in a United States Senior Golf Association tournament at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton.

Mr. Laughlin, who was known as Sandy, loved all things political, engaging in political conversations and supporting candidates he respected, his family said. He also was chairman and chief executive of Alternate Care, a home health care company in Garden City Park. Devoted to his autistic son, Alexander M. Laughlin III, he “ never stopped doing all he could for Alex to ensure that he had the fullest life possible,” his family wrote. “He was always willing to help other families, to guide, and share his knowledge of autism, and he was greatly respected by the community of caregivers he encountered.”

At his death, Mr. Laughlin was a board member of True Temper Sports, a manufacturing company, and National Pen, which makes promotional and marketing products that are sold worldwide. He also was on the board of two nonprofit Pennsylvania organizations founded by family members, the Laughlin Children’s Center and Laughlin Memorial Library.

In East Hampton, he was a member of the Maidstone Club, serving on the executive committee and as chairman of its admissions committee. He also was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church who worked on its winter music programs and fairs and did landscaping. Elsewhere, he was a member of the Rolling Rock Club of Ligonier, Pa., the Lyford Cay Club in Nassau, the Bahamas, and was a longtime board member and treasurer of the Brook in New York City.

He was born on Feb. 20, 1952, in New York City to Alexander M. Laughlin and Judith Walker, and grew up there and in East Hampton during the summer. He attended the Greenvale School, the Buckley School, and the Brooks School before going to George Washington University.

He and the former Mary Edwards were married in 1998. The couple lived  in Greenwich, Conn., as well as East Hampton.

Mr. Laughlin loved to cook, his family said, spending many evenings with his wife and good friends around the dinner table. He was a “consummate listener, communicator, and speaker who appreciated the ideas of each and every individual he knew and worked with,” they wrote. In addition to golf, he enjoyed water sports in the Bahamas.

Mr. Laughlin is survived by his parents, who live in New York City, his wife and son, and a daughter, Julia W. Laughlin of Greenwich, whom he had recently visited in Thailand. He is also survived by a sister, Nina L. Bottomley of Rye Beach, N.H., and a brother, David W. Laughlin of East Hampton.

A celebration of Mr. Laughlin’s life will be planned for July. Memorial donations in his name are suggested to the First Tee in Fairfield County, 2390 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, Conn. 06825; Resources for Human Development Connecticut, for which more information can be found online at rhd.org, the Laughlin Children’s Center in Sewickley, Pa., the Laughlin Memorial Library in Ambridge, Pa., or St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The family held a private funeral service there with the Very Rev. Denis Brunelle officiating on Tuesday.
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Correction: The original version of this obituary gave the incorrect name for Mr. Laughlin's daughter. She is Julia W. Laughlin. It also incorrectly stated that he died of a heart attack while playing in a tournament at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton; in fact, he died at Southampton Hospital after having a heart attack on the golf course. The print version of the obituary also failed to include one organization to which memorial contributions were suggested: the First Tee in Fairfield County, Connecticut.