Family stunned by double death
Drs. Gerard M. and Patricia L. (Trish) Laughlan-Ireland, formerly of Corydon, died Wednesday, Nov. 12, at their home in Louisville.
The bodies of the devoted couple were found in their bedroom that day by her father and mother, Robert and Dottie Redden Ireland of Corydon, who went there after receiving a call that neither had been to work and had not called.
‘It looked as though she had collapsed, and he was lying beside her, with his arm around her,’ said Dottie. ‘It was the saddest day of my life.’
Autopsies were performed in Louisville, but no apparent cause of death was found for either. The results of toxicology tests are expected in six to eight weeks, said Louisville deputy coroner Bob Jones.
No foul play is suspected.
Dottie said her daughter had not felt well on Monday, but had worked that day and then taught her writing course that evening at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany. Grief counselors were provided at IUS for Trish’s students. ‘One of Trish’s students said, ‘She made the classroom fun. She was special,” Dottie said.
She and her husband worked together at Video Monitoring Systems in Louisville, where they monitored news reports.
Trish had recently been featured in the IUS newspaper, The Horizon, by writer Diana Lynn Seiler. In ‘Life at its best,’ Trish was portrayed as a happily married woman who lived life to its fullest. She enjoyed working with her hands, from cooking and gardening to making stained glass paneling. She and her husband were practically inseparable. They shared life with a six-year-old cockatoo named Brak. According to the Horizon article, Brak chirps to the music theme of the ‘X-Files’ on TV.
Dottie said her daughter and Gerard had been married four years. They were married at the Leora Brown School in Corydon.
Trish, 34, was a native of Harrison County, born Feb. 27, 1969. Her husband, 35, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 10, 1968.
He was the son of Bridget Laughlan of Wishaw, Scotland, and the late Edward Laughlan. Gerard is also survived by a sister, Irene Smith of Wishaw. Trish is also survived by three sisters, Robin Parks, Julie Ireland and Jennifer Sizemore, all of Corydon.
‘It has been hard,’ said Dottie, adding that faith in God has held the family together.
‘I would have crawled under that bed if it hadn’t been for God,’ she said.
Trish was an excellent student, a graduate of Indiana University, Texas A&M and Southern Illinois University, where she earned a doctorate in English. She was an adjunct professor at Indiana University Southeast and an employee of Video Monitoring Systems in Louisville.
Gerard was a graduate of the University of Glasgow and an employee of Video Monitoring Systems. He recently earned his doctorate in molecular biology at the University of Glasgow. He wrote his thesis on DNA. ‘They were both brilliant people,’ Dottie said.
Trish taught English for three years at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., before she was told that her father, Robert, now 72, had been diagnosed with leukemia and would be taking chemotherapy treatments. Trish insisted on moving back to Corydon to help Dottie, who will be 70 on Sunday, and the family take care of Robert. She took a temporary job for six months selling cars for Oxmoor Toyota in Louisville. Many of her fellow employees at Oxmoor Toyota were here for the funeral, Dottie said. ‘It just demonstrates how people were drawn to her. She had that special thing, and people thought highly of her,’ Dottie said.
The joint funeral was Sunday at Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home with burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, both in Corydon. The Rev. Ron Russell officiated. Pallbearers were Ray Sizemore, David Parks, Chris Parks, Andy Parks, Ben Parks and Ian Smith.
The families suggest memorial gifts to Indiana University Southeast’s English department.