Alexander Peter McLachlan
Alexander Peter McLachlan
  • June 23, 1909 - December 9, 2017
  • Metairie, Louisiana

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Alexander Peter McLachlan, a retired Federal executive with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, passed away on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Having been born on June 23, 1909, he enjoyed an unusually long life, being 108 years old at the time of his death. A native of Missouri, he has been a resident of Louisiana since the 1930's and a resident of Metairie since 1972. He enjoyed a 54 year marriage with his beautiful wife, Enola Waguespack McLachlan, until her death in 1989. He was also preceded in death by his parents Luke and Sophie McPherson McLachlan, his beloved daughter Janet McLachlan Moore and his sisters Helen and Ann Elizabeth McLachlan. He is survived by his children Dr. John E. McLachlan and wife Betty, and Judith McLachlan Slot and husband Peter, his grandchildren Lisa and Neal Maroney, Dr. John E, McLachlan, Jr., Drs. Michele and Phillip Noel, Michael McLachlan and Lori, and Amy McLachlan, Sandra Walker and Patrick, Sean Moore and Maddison, David Moore, Beth Martinez and Jeff and Patricia Lutz and Tyron. Great-grandchildren are Austin, Rachel, Kelly, Stephen and Catherine Walker; Emily, Matthew, Marie, Elizabeth and Luke Noel; Bailey and Kathryn McLachlan; Taylor and Haley Martinez; Cameron and Collin Lutz; and Alec Moore. He also leaves behind two very dear and special friends, Myrle Browning and Mercedes Travers. McLachlan began a career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a clerk on the farm program and retired some forty years later a head of one of the major offices, the New Orleans Commodity Credit Corporation. The function of the New Orleans office was arranging for storage all over the country for cotton and cottonseed products, both under Government loan and that acquired for non-payment loans, paying warehouses for storage, moving stocks over railroad from congested areas, holding periodic sales from Government stock, billing buyers for payment of such stock, and many other things. The work of the office had one unique function. Every bale of cotton required an individual record of weight, grade and staple, condition, where stored, other facts. Until the early fifties, maintaining these records was produced with a punch card system. Under the Government Cotton Loan Program there were over 20 million cards on file, supported by several hundred punch card machines and qualified operators. It was the perfect setup for automatic data processing, and the very first of the IBM's large computer system was installed in the office. It provided the management and employees with pioneer work in the automation field. It became one of the finest in the country, doing much more than just the cotton program. Many years later, after McLachlan retired, the cotton work was transferred to a Commodity Credit Corporation office in another city, and the equipment, space, and employees became the basis for the establishment of the National Finance Center, which is a major organization today. McLachlan was Director of the New Orleans office of Commodity Credit Corporation for 18 years until his retirement in 1972. During his active years he was involved in civic work in his community. He spent several years working with the United Fund (now the United Way), chairing one of the divisions and serving on the Board of Trustees. He was a Past President of the Federal Executive Association, which became the Federal Executive Board during his tenure. He was Past President of the Federal Business Association, Past President of the Greater New Orleans Agri-Business Council, Past President of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Past President of the USDA Club. He was instrumental in the reorganization and revitalization of the Southeast Louisiana livestock show. In his later years, he was active in the affairs of the Jefferson Council on Aging, as Chairman of the Board and serving on some of its committees. He was a member of St. Clement of Rome Church, serving as an usher and lector, and President of its Young Elders Club. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a proud American and God always came first in his life. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the services at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., on Saturday, December 16, 2017. Visitation begins at 9:30AM with Mass celebrated at 11:00AM. Interment will follow in Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum.