Laurie Cunningham McLaughlin (1955 - 2015)

  • "Laurie was a very special person. She touched me deeply and..."
    - Donna
  • "Mike, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you."
    - Gregg Olson
  • "I knew Laurie in the mid 1970s when we worked together at..."
    - Linda Durr
  • "Dear Mike:: I am so sorry to hear about Laurie's death,..."
    - Iona Stites
  • "May Laurie find serenity and peace. She will be missed. ..."

Laurie Cunningham McLaughlin died at home sometime during the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2015, from complications of alcoholism. She left behind many who loved her dearly even though she herself often could not see it. Laurie was beautiful and brilliant, kind and caring. She had a master's degree in international trade and made her career as a consultant and event planner. She served at high levels in the State Department of Commerce and in the Governor's Office of International trade for many years. After leaving state government, she owned her own business and among her clients was Anchorage 2000, Anchorage's millennium celebration. She became its project director and supervised yearlong parties, including the "Night of Light," a successful New Year's event that more than 20,000 people attended. She loved condiments and cooking, gardening and reading and her church. She was a brilliant writer and had incredible penmanship - which she always attributed to the nuns who taught her when she was growing up in Juneau, Alaska. She was organized, diplomatic and clear-thinking. When her struggle with alcoholism began in 2003, there was an army of people over the years who loved and helped her: the counselors and staff at Providence Breakthrough; the counselors and staff at Salvation Army's Clitheroe Center at Point Woronzof; and the counselors and staff at Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minn., where Laurie spent five months in 2003. There were those who, from seeing Laurie's addiction, saw a reflection of their own and found recovery even though long term recovery eluded Laurie. She leaves behind a family who loved her dearly, even through her struggle. Laurie is survived in death by her husband, Mike McLaughlin; sisters, Margaret, Teresa and Pamela Cunningham; and her brother-in-law, Brian Suda. There will be a visitation on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, at 1:30 p.m., at St. Benedicts Church, 8110 Jewel Lake Road. A service will immediately follow at 2:30 p.m. Father Dan Hebert will officiate. Laurie's interment will be at Angelus Memorial Park Cemetery at later date. Memorial bequests may be made to Providence Alaska Foundation for Providence Breakthrough, The Salvation Army for Clitheroe Center and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation for Benefit of Center City.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Oct. 24, 2015