March 23, 1942 - November 9, 2021
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Day Heusner McLaughlin gently left us on the morning of 9 November 2021. She lived a full life and by all accounts had done the things she wanted to do and most importantly saw the family and friends she wanted to see in the last two weeks of her life. Day was born to the late Albert Price Heusner, MD and Helen Heusner (Day) on March 23, 1942 in Boston, MA. Being born to parents of the depression shaped her formative years and resulted in a lifetime of frugality and charity towards others, underpinned by a firm foundation in faith. Never wavering, even after being told she could do math at NASA levels, (she asked if there were children there…) she pursued her degree in Education at Woman's College of North Carolina (now UNC-G) and enjoyed a long and rich tenure as a teacher. As luck would have it, her mother kept in touch with their neighbors from Boston after moving to Chapel Hill, NC, and one fine summer the two grandmothers hatched a plan for their two eldest to meet. Stories go that on the third date, Day's late husband Leonard F. McLaughlin (1941-1990) proposed. He was her soulmate and his sudden demise was a shock that cast a shadow for years to come.
Her service to children and community didn't end after retiring from 30 years of teaching. She then took up volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels, Guardian Ad Litem and countless endeavors at University Presbyterian Church. A common thread throughout her life was her constant advocacy for social justice and children.
She leaves in her wake dinner parties un-hosted, children's books undelivered, a myriad of Christmas cards to be sent, Sunday Schools untaught, and any number of small kindnesses and grace yet to be bestowed on others.
She was predeceased by her steadfast husband, Lenny, and younger brother, Albert "Chip" Heusner. Left to squabble over the mountain of books, family "treasures" and tupperware are her children, Jeff McLaughlin (Betsy) of Northfield, MN and her daughter, Rachel McLaughlin of Arlington, VA. She relished her role as Mize to her grandchildren Edy and Will. Encased in decades of fond memories and much laughter is her sister Helen Lojek of Boise, Idaho and an array of nieces and nephews scattered up the east coast and out west. No flowers, please. If you've contributed to your retirement, helped someone else and you still have a bit leftover to honor her memory, donations may be sent to:
The UNC Medical Foundation, The AP Heusner Pupil Award, 123 W. Franklin Street, SU 510, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, 88 Vilcom Center Drive, SU 110, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
University Presbyterian Church, 209 E Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, November 19th at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill at 4:30pm. A gathering with light refreshments will commence after the service. Later in 2022 the remaining McLaughlins will venture to the OuterBanks, where Day and Lenny honeymooned, to scatter their ashes and close their earthly loop.