Obituary: James Odel Laughrun

Beloved husband, father, psychoanalyst, sportsman

James Odel Laughrun, ThD, died peacefully at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 9 surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Jim met his wife Deanie in college. The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary days before his death.

He was a self-proclaimed “Arizona farm boy,” who became a Christian minister. As a pastor of a small church, he derived great satisfaction as a pastoral counselor, which encouraged him to pursue higher education. He was an avid reader on his journey, discovering the work of Sigmund Freud and gravitating toward deepening his understanding of human psychology.

He traveled an interesting path toward becoming a psychoanalyst. He gradually developed a private practice in pastoral counseling and psychoanalysis, a unique combination at that time. He practiced in Pasadena for more than 40 years.

Mr. Laughrun published a number of articles with titles such as “Transference and Religious Practice,” and gave a number of lectures on unpublished papers, including “What it Means to Be a Person From the Psychoanalytic Point of View.” He imagined someday writing a book entitled My Life with Jesus of Nazareth and Freud of Vienna, his family shared.

he loved to greet people and make them smile with a joke or a kind word, his family shared, and dedicated his life to helping others both professionally and personally. He enjoyed a full, rich life with career, family and friends.

He also enjoyed his many days on the tennis court and later on the golf course. He continued to work out with his wife at the Claremont Club gym three days a week, right up until the last week of his life.

“He will be greatly missed for his wisdom, his humor and his keen insight into psychology,” his family said. “He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and as he hoped, he will live on in those that loved him.”

Mr. Laughrun is survived by his children, Christine, Diane, Carol and David; grandchildren, Anthony, Haley, Jonathan, Riley, Max, Stephen, Simone, Jeffrey and Ana; and great-grandchildren, Jett and Harley.

A memorial is set for Saturday, August 31 at United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave., Claremont at a time to be determined.


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