Obituary Kenneth "KJ" McLaughlin
By SLVFD News Room
February 13, 2022

Kenneth “KJ” J. McLaughlin, age 73, of Saranac Lake, died unexpectedly on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at home.

Born in Saranac Lake, New York on May 17, 1948, he was the son of Henry and Dorothy (McCasland) McLaughlin.

Ken attended and graduated from Pius X Central High School in Saranac Lake in 1966. He later attended and graduated from North Country Community College in 1985 with an AAS in Criminal Justice. Ken was employed as a patrolman, Sgt. for the Saranac Lake Police Dept. from 1970 to 1974 and part time from 1976 to 1995. Ken later went to work for the New York State Department of Correctional Services serving for more than 30 years holding many titles and rising through the ranks retiring as First Deputy Superintendent, Director of Special Operations, for the New York State Corrections and Community Services. He was a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. since 1966 and has served in the positions of 1st and 2nd Lieutenant Rescue Squad, Capt. of Rescue Squad; and Captain in charge of Underwater Dive Rescue for over 35 years. Ken was currently serving as the Dive Safety Officer. He is also a past Franklin County Deputy Fire Coordinator Car-2. Ken was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Post 447, Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club, International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Narcotics Officers, National Association of Investigative Specialists, Nine Lives Association for Personal Protection Specialist, and the International Dive Rescue Association. In 2010 Ken was elected as Village Judge and was currently serving as Harrietstown Judge.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen Peer of Saranac Lake, two sons Kirk McLaughlin (Janean Blevins) of Kingsport, TN and Derek (Nancy) McLaughlin of Kingsport, TN, four grandchildren Ronald, Derek, Marion, and Kane, one brother David (Kathy) McLaughlin of Naples, FL, one sister Evelyn (Bill) Wagner of New Milford, CT, step children Wendy (Tom) Dupree of Saranac Lake, Cassandra Tanner of Tupper Lake, Tanya Kennedy of Tupper Lake and Charles (Shelia) Strack of Star Lake, and step grandson Brandon Dupree. He was preceded in death by his father, mother and his companion Sandra Tanner.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A Memorial service with military and firefighter honors will take place at 3:00 PM on Tuesday February 15. 2022 at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake with Rev. Martin Cline officiating. A firefighter’s prayer service, bell ceremony and last call will immediately follow at the church. For those unable to attend in person services the funeral will be livestreamed on Fortune-Keough Funeral Home’s facebook page.

Friends wishing to remember Mr. Kenneth J. McLaughlin may make memorial contributions to Saranac Lake Vol. Fire Department Dive Team in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at

Hyperlinks: Link to Fortune Keough Funeral Home-Obituary

Todd Newton, RN February 14, 2022 at 12:19 PM
Ken, was glad to know you &
briefly serve with you.
Rest in Peace Brother!