Let the memory of Laurel be with us forever
  • 27 years old
  • Born on January 28, 1984 in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States.
  • Passed away on April 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.

 We will remember her forever. Laurel was a beautiful, loving, and caring soul.  She will forever be missed.  We invite all of her family and friends to share their stories, comments, photos, etc. of her so that we can all celebrate her wonderful soul.   

I will be adding many additional stories to this website.  They are some special memories shared and memorial donations made in Laurel's honor, in response to a request made by her aunt for family & friends to share memories at Christmas time as a gift to Laurel's mom, dad & brother at a time we knew they would be feeling her loss more acutely.


Look on the Stories section for these additions and thank you to all that contributed!

And thanks to everyone who have visted, added stories, photos and tributes.  Especially as Laurel's Golden Birthday has just occurred.  Keep visiting and adding your thoughts and stories!



Posted by Mary Focht on 9th April 2018
Laurel, yesterday was also Gma Vivs 91st BD so I spent a big part of my day with Gma & Uncle Bob, who came to help her celebrate. It is so hard to believe it has been 7 years since you physically left us, left this planet. Whatever plane or planet you are on/in, I hope it is peaceful, and without too many baobops threatening the roses. I am with Paul S, in that I am still a bit mad at you for leaving us. I do wish you would have/could have unloaded some of the pain you carried, to lighten your load enough to stay. I would have been willing to carry it with you. The light you burned while on this earth was so bright..... with all the best or Laurel, your sense of justice & acting on it, your kindness & empathy, your wit, humor and infectious enthusiasm, your GIANT heart & soul & BIG brains.... these lights you burned were SO bright - Yet I am afraid you underestimated our ability to understand & love you just the same, and more..... WITH your darker side or painful side & all. Your light WAS way bright enough....it was more than enough! The beatuiful ripples you made in this pond of life still go on & on in wonderful ways. And I am trying to throw more good pebbles in this pond in your honor/memory. But I would rather be throwing them in WITH you. Love you forever Auntie Mary
Posted by Kat Kim on 9th April 2018
love u lady laurel... xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Posted by Paul Shotbolt on 9th April 2018
I still miss you every day Laurel. I miss your eyes, your kindness, your humour, your voice most of all. I even heard you secretly singing once, when you thought I'd left- did you know that? I miss the way the room would light up when you entered it, the way your generosity and compassion just shone through everything you did. The way the morning sun would rudely interrupt us and only then we'd realize we'd been talking all night. I miss our jokes. I miss being kidnapped from medschool; I miss your incredible strength, and years later I'm still moved by your unwavering sense of justice. There are so many things I love about you, things I wish that I could embody better. The kindness you've shown me still ripples in the way I now see the world differently because of you, and in how so many people whose lives you touched try to pass some small amount on where they can. I haven't really figured out how to do this. That hole you left in each of us is person-sized, you silly dope. And some days it's so big you could drive your car through it. I hope you are at peace, and that somehow, in whatever incomprehensible afterlife or transcendental horticulture follows this one, we all get to see you. Yes i'm still mad at you.
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 8th April 2018
Thinking of you with love today and always, sweet Laurel, as I snuggle my youngest baby. You were the one who first observed Regan would be a "circle of life baby," and all three of them have been, actually. Regan Laurel carries on elements of your fierce and beautiful depth of spirit in her own way, no doubt. I grieve not being able to share in motherhood along with you. But you remain present, because we hold you and keep you present, in so many tender moments.
Posted by Georgie & John Pfaffinger on 8th April 2018
Hey Crazy Precious Girl...hope you are keeping everyone on their toes where you are at...Miss you...sending love and hugs on the wings of His Angels
Posted by David Jones on 8th April 2018
Quiet day today, Sweet Pea. So many of us are thinking of you today -- & every day. Memories fade. But, I miss you more, not less. Love you.
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 8th April 2018
darling Laurel, I so hope you're somewhere light, happy, warm, and that you can feel all the love coming your way... I miss you! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
Posted by Kate Pfaffinger on 27th January 2018
Happy Birthday Sweet Pea - Spent the day communing with your beautiful spirit. Love remembering your sensitive observations, winkie hands and wicked sense of humor. Dedicating a weeks worth of random acts of kindness to you -- since you sprinkled them liberally wherever you went.
Posted by Sarah (Clark) Brown on 27th January 2018
Happy birthday, dear Laurel.
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 27th January 2018
happy birthday darling Laurel! your light is still shining and I love you with all my heart xxx
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 27th January 2018
Happy 34th birthday, Laurel. I wish you could know my babies, and they could know you. I miss you much, but I continue to be grateful for your beautiful spirit. Love you, always.
Posted by Mary Focht on 27th January 2018
Happy Brithday to Laurels spirit, Laurel's soul! You sent a lot of beautiful energy out into the universe while you were with us, and I often still feel it, run into it....it is a good thing! But having you here with us would be way better. Sometimes I try to picture your beautiful face right before I fall asleep, in hopes that I might get to see you in my dreams. Always loved and cherished Laurel Floral Auntie Mary
Posted by David Jones on 27th January 2018
Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. You're always on my mind.
Posted by Caitlin Frevert on 19th October 2017
Thinking of you today, Laurel, and searched to find this memorial site. Sending love and peace. Such fond memories of a beautiful soul. All the hugs, Caitlin (Caitlin Smith Frevert)
Posted by Kat Kim on 8th April 2017
hugs&love 4ever sweetpea
Posted by David Jones on 8th April 2017
Hello, Sweet Pea. Grandma Viv's 90th birthday party today. As with so much else: mixed emotions. You've touched so many so much. We all miss you. Love, Pappy
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 8th April 2017
dearest Laurel, I'm sending a big warm hug and am trying to not be sad (like you requested) but I miss you too much! There's sooo much I want to share with you... But I know that even if I cannot see it, your light still shines brightly!!
Posted by Mary Focht on 2nd February 2017
Dear Spirit of Laurel, I went to try to find this website on your BD, & because my link to it was tied into my now extinct work email, I could not pull it up just by searching your name. I was so sad. Thought maybe page had been taken down. Then got link from your mom...so relieved.... It is such a solace to see these photos, videos and stories, notes, tributes all together. It is the closest I can get to being "with you" in a more tangible way. I commune with your beautiful spirit often, too. But this physical "Laurel space" is so special! I am sad, when I think what would have been your 33rd just having passed that there are not any new pictures of you to add. Damnit!! For some one who often hated to have her picture taken, you were so photogenic....so beautiful inside & out. I know your brother, mama & papas hearts ache even more on these anniversary days. You are SO missed. We marched for you in DC/Womans March the week before your BD & tried to show the appropriate amount of rage! Please send us your rebel energy, we are going to need it! Love you forever, Auntie Mary
Posted by Kate Pfaffinger on 29th January 2017
Baby of mine (you use to sign all of your notes to me, 'Your Baby') I miss you so much! Went through two boxes of your stuff on Saturday, along with two boxes of tissues. So poignant to see all your hard work (calculus, French, bio, A & P notes, carefully written and tabulated, next to all your expressions of love for others, next to so much obvious pain.) I miss your sense of humor, your laugh, your sharp mind, your wit. You would have loved being at the the Woman's March. Since we need women with your passion and style right now, I will think of you there with us, being our Guardian and Guiding Angel.
Posted by Kat Kim on 29th January 2017
laurel-love.. happy belated birthday my sweet.. u visited me ina dream last nite.. u were standing sooo tall.. ur hair was beautiful, wild & free.. just like u.. bounding towards me w/a smile that made ur eyes squinty like mine, haha!.. ur arms wiiide open & comin' in 4a huuuge hug.. &when i woke i could still feel ur warmth & our hearts beating together.. ur 4ever in my heart.. love u laurel, xoxoxo kimmers
Posted by Georgie & John Pfaffinger on 27th January 2017
Sweet Laurel ... Happy Birthday to you and me...your essence is all around us...but we still miss you so...we love you always
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 27th January 2017
Happy birthday, dear Laurel. Missing you today, and always. My wise, deep-souled little girl knows your name (that she share as her middle name), she knows some of your stories, and I feel she senses your essence. I deeply wish you could know each other, and that your were here to snuggle my joyful, sweet baby boy too. Life does go on, but your absence will always be heartfelt.
Posted by Karen Johnson on 27th January 2017
Dearest Niece Laurel, Loved coming here to this space today and looking at the pictures. You are still so missed. Spent a few days with your Mom, aunt Mary and Jessica, they were here for the women's march on Washington. You would have loved it, they are all women who miss you very much!!!
Posted by David Jones on 27th January 2017
It's been another year, Sweet Pea. We all miss you so much we ache. But, our life goes on. We work, play, and travel. And we reminisce. You're with us always & always will be. You're especially on our minds today. We love you. --------- Hey readers: If you're still at this after five years, you may appreciate this. I'm not much good with cell phones. With luck, I won't answer. Call 'my' phone (651.470.7066) & listen to the message.
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 27th January 2017
Happy birthday dearest Laurel! I wish I could say 'come back please'... miss you so so much. Love you forever!
Posted by David Jones on 14th April 2016
We went to a wedding -- for Hilary's son Gordon (& Emily) -- on the anniversary of your death. Talk about mixed emotions! So happy for them. Missing you so much. It was nice to have you with me there. Love you.
Posted by Kat Kim on 28th January 2016
laurel-love, happy birthday... so much has happened in the kim-family this past 9 months... dad, youngmee, & grandma have moved onto their next great adventure... &as i write this... my heart feels warm w/the thots & hopes that u.r. all together in a beautiful, sunny, peaceful & loving place... miss u, love u 4ever & beyond... xoxokimmers
Posted by Connie Juhn on 28th January 2016
Happy birthday Laurel. Thank you for your glowing light. Miss you a lot.
Posted by Sarah (Clark) Brown on 27th January 2016
Happy birthday, dearest Laurel. Thinking of you and your bright smile today.
Posted by Kate Pfaffinger on 27th January 2016
Happy Birthday sweet woman. I miss you so much... love, k-le ma
Posted by Georgie & John Pfaffinger on 27th January 2016
Sweet Laurel...I hope you are sliding on rainbows, and jumping from twinkling star to twinkling star...you are 32 today...and I am 63 today...soon, before you know it...I and the rest of this crazy Pfaffinger clan will be there with you...singing and just plain having such fun...you are deeply missed dear girl...and I know you can feel the great love we have for you...love you to the moon and back...forever in our hearts !
Posted by Mary Focht on 27th January 2016
Laurel, feeling your spirit & cherishing that feeling... missing you & missing being able to hug you, missing your passionate banter, you made a huge ripple in the pond, and the circles just keep going out there.....love you forever Auntie Mar
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 27th January 2016
Laurel - such a profound space you've left in my heart. Missing you and loving you, today and always.
Posted by David Jones on 27th January 2016
We think about you every day Sweet Pea. Miss you a lot.
Posted by Karen Johnson on 27th January 2016
Dear Laurel, on today what would have been your 32 birthday, missing you and your life force in this world! Thinking of the joy you brought to all those you encountered in your life and know that they are all missing you as well! Love you, aunt Karen
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 27th January 2016
dearest Laurel, i love you and miss you sooooo much! there are so many things i want to tell you and ask you and laugh with you about... i hope you can feel all the love coming your way xxx
Posted by Betsy Bradford on 9th April 2015
My dear sweet, When you left us I didn't know there was a heaven. There are so many days when I wake up thinking of you - how you still burn as brightly as the cold wintery morning in Maine when we met almost 15 years ago. I sing the lullabies you lulled me to sleep with - taking their word as inspiration. I think of mitochondria and Chuck Norris and how all these later when my friends call me Boo, it all comes back to you. I think about red winged blackbirds and poetry. I think about fucking bill and field notes. I think about sheep and hand written letters. I think about understanding when no one could. And I guess I just hope that wherever you are - you can feel so deeply within all the souls that you've touched, and that that legacy lives on...and so so profoundly. I still can't find the words to convey the fibers you've woven yourself into within me. I just feel them - one part gratitude to the 5 ginormous parts profound loss all mixed together and inextricably linked to the strands of me. I love you and I miss you and your bouncing hair and twinkling eyes. Keep shining love please keep shining
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 8th April 2015
Laurel, I just sang "You Can Close Your Eyes" to Regan Laurel as a lullabye tonight. I'll always cherish the memory of you and me singing that song together under the stars in the Boundary Waters. Always in our hearts...
Posted by Sarah (Clark) Brown on 8th April 2015
Love to you, beautiful soul.
Posted by Chelsea Cartwright on 28th January 2015
I didn't get a chance to write it here on the day, but on Laurel's birthday I sang to the Ganesha statue that Laurel gave to Joel, who gave it to me. For me it is a reminder to stay here with my whole heart, to love through all the changes, no matter what. Sending so much love to all of Laurel's family. xxx
Posted by Connie Juhn on 28th January 2015
Hey Laurel, the twins make sugar cookies with the 100 piece cookie cutter set you gave us when they were babies. These days their favorites are the xmas tree and pumpkin (random). I think it's cuz the pumpkin is super big and fits more m&ms on them. You would've loved to see them in baking action as much as they would've your sweet and caring nature. I tell them about you when we bake so they'll never forget. Love you and miss your big smile.
Posted by Jim Focht on 27th January 2015
Laurel was a very beautiful and intelligent young lady. She also had such a soft and sweet side to her. She was shy by most accounts but once in a while she would open up and surprise you. I had just announced my retirement from a 32 year teaching job. Laurel called me one night to wish me the best. It actually turned into a type of interview about my hunting escapes. She was trying to determine my possible desire to elk hunt out west in the mountains. Unbeknownst to me, she was trying to set up an elk hunt in the mountains with Curt's dad. He worked for the DNR in Colorado and had lots of connections out there. I thought that was sooo sweet of Laurel to even think along those lines. As we all knew, hunting was not really her passion. Laurel will be always remembered and sadly missed! Uncle Jim
Posted by Sarah (Clark) Brown on 27th January 2015
Happy birthday, dearest Laurel! I'm missing your smile so much today. Sending you love and hugs, always.
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 27th January 2015
Dearest Laurel, Today and always, we grieve the loss of your presence with us on this earth. Yet at the very same time, your presence carries on in the countless ways we have to celebrate everything your life continues to mean to everyone you've touched...to know you was to love you, sweet girl.
Posted by Mary Focht on 27th January 2015
Dearest Laurel's spirit, As Regan Laurel would say, "I love you to the moon & back", - still and always. I just watched the movie on cable this past w/e, "Bend it Like Beckham". It is a movie you & went to together, & then went to "Noodles & Co" to eat. You introduced me to the Noodles place. The movie was great the 2nd time around, because it was a good story, but also because it brought back to "Laurel Land" & made me smile. I love to go there... I donated to "Drs Without Borders" today in your memory. Happy Birthday love auntie mar
Posted by Georgie & John Pfaffinger on 27th January 2015
Sweet Laurel...how we miss you...Happy Earth Birthday to you...as I celebrate my birthday today...I celebrate yours also...slid on a Rainbow for me, sweet woman...love you always...Aunt Georgie :)
Posted by David Jones on 27th January 2015
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) ee cummings You're still with us, in our thoughts, every day of the year Sweet Pea. We love you & miss you.
Posted by Karen Johnson on 27th January 2015
Laurel missing you and thinking of you on your birthday. 31 years ago you came to us. Thank you for our time with you, so wish it could have been longer!
Posted by Sophia Wittchow on 27th January 2015
Laurel dear I so so so wish we could've celebrated your birthday together today!! In summery NZ (although I do know you also loved the snow). I miss you to the end of the world and back. And I'm so much looking forward to seeing your home and family in March, but I wish you could be there too. Hope you see my love for you shining all the way to the stars xx
Posted by Jess Focht-perlberg on 11th April 2014
Laurel, Laurel, missing you so. Your light shines on...love always, my dear. jess~*

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