Scott Laughlin Celebration of Life Information

WBNQ/WJBC Host Scott Laughlin’s life will be celebrated on Wednesday May 8th and you can attend

Scott Laughlin, our friend-coworker and longtime local radio broadcaster, passed away last week after a several-year-long fight against cancer.

Laughlin had a 40-year radio career, with 14 years at WBNQ and 19 years at WJBC. He retired in 2019 after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Wednesday May 8th, 2024 is the date for a celebration of life and family reception that will be held at the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center, 302 E. Emerson St., Bloomington, from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a short program at 6:00 p.m.

Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington is assisting with arrangements and posted the following as his official obituart.

Jonathan “Scott” Laughlin Obituary

Bloomington – Jonathan Scott Laughlin, 65, of Bloomington, passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Scott was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 kidney cancer in May 2019. Cancer didn’t stop him from wringing out every drop of life every day for the past five years.

He was a son, brother, husband, father, cousin, uncle, golfer, radio announcer, prankster, baker, smoker (of meats, not cigarettes), bird enthusiast, storyteller, fundraiser, and a friend to too many people to be counted.

Scott was born on July 5, 1958, in Pontiac, a son of John and Lorrain (Whitebread) Laughlin. He graduated from Pontiac Township High School and studied law enforcement at Illinois Valley Community College. His plans to become a cop changed when he couldn’t stomach the First Aid videos (helping accident victims, delivering babies in cars) that were part of police training. One day, he heard a radio announcer mispronounce the name of the song, “Reminiscing” by the Little River Band. “Hell,” he thought to himself. “I could do THAT!” And his radio career was born.

Scott worked in Central Illinois radio for 40 years as an announcer at stations in Princeton, Pontiac, and Peoria. He spent the bulk of his career at WJBC and WBNQ in Bloomington. For so many years, his was the background voice as people either started their day or made their late afternoon commute.

He regularly interviewed local and national newsmakers. Colleagues credit him with asking fair questions and holding guests’ feet to the fire regardless of their politics or of the subject matter. He had a gift for making his on-air guests comfortable while talking about topics that could be sensitive or controversial. He was naturally funny, and he effortlessly used humor to lighten the mood. Many guests became longtime friends.

He used his celebrity (he hated that word) to help raise money for the Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (CIDSO), the Salvation Army, and other non-profits.

Scott was a great golfer, once shooting a hole-in-one. He served as ‘commissioner’ of the retired guys’ golf league, putting together foursomes and arranging tee times at weekly outings. He loved Thursday afternoon shuffleboard at A&P Tap with his buddies.

His other hobbies included baking bread, smoking pulled pork on his trusty Traeger smoker, and watching birds from his sun porch. Hummingbirds were his favorite; he kept a record of the first and last sightings each year. He was a lifelong Chicago Bears and Cubs fan.

He readily admitted to being a terrible speller, saying that he “couldn’t spell A&W if you spotted me the ‘W’.” He hated yard work. He loved Friday night backyard firepits with family, friends, and co-workers. He spent hours sitting on his deck, watching birds, and feeding squirrels. He delighted in making people laugh. He was the orchestrator of a zillion innocent pranks as both a kid and as an adult. He adored his granddaughter. He knew how to fold a fitted sheet.

He married Lori Nelson on September 23, 1989, in Bloomington. She survives along with their sons, TJ (Christina Liccar) Laughlin and Casey Laughlin, both of Chicago; granddaughter, Lucy Liccar Laughlin; brothers, Brian Laughlin of Cornell, and Casey (Jane) Laughlin of Littleton, CO; sister, Edi Wittman (Terrence) of Franklin, TN; seventeen nieces and nephews; 8-1/2 great-nieces and nephews; a bunch of cousins; and dogs Buddy and Willie.

Scott was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Mike Laughlin and Pat Laughlin; sister-in-law Chris Laughlin; niece, Shannon Laughlin; and nephew, Jason Laughlin.

The family thanks Drs. Kuzel, Blank, Cochran, Francois, Seidl (and associates), and Sriratana; the wonderful nursing staffs at Rush Hospital and at Carle BroMenn Medical Center; and the Carle Hospice nurses, especially Heather and Tate. You all are angels on earth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Carle Hospice, or the Humane Society of Central Illinois.