Laurie Fery(1949 - 2014)

Laurie Kathleen (Clupny) (Hicks) (Harkness) Fery

November 24, 1949 - February 6, 2014

Since I'm in this column, I have lost my (19 month) battle with lung cancer. My cancer was aggressive and became stage IV without any warning signs. (I accidently "wink" smoked cigarettes off and on for 30 years.)

I had never been sick in my life and I hope that I faced my final days with strength, grace, dignity, courage, and good humor. I believed that your greatest enemy is self-pity.

Every seven years, my birthday would fall on Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday). I was raised in Talent Oregon on a small five acre self-sufficient farm. I graduated from Phoenix High School in 1967, got married in 1968, and had two beautiful children.

In 1979, the kids (ages 6 and 4) and I as a single mom moved to Salem. I attended Chemeketa Community college. I got my accounting degree in 1981 (top of my class). I worked for the State of Oregon for over 28 years - 23 of those years as an income tax auditor for an organization who did nothing to correct the plummeting employee morale. After retiring in 2009, I began working for H&R Block where I discovered that my passion was preparing income tax returns and teaching the basic income tax course (not auditing). I also discovered that taxpayers liked me better!

I'm survived by my son, Jerry Hicks; my daughter and her significant other: Tracie and Willy Rameriz; their two beautiful but self-absorbed teen aged daughters', Jeseneia and Brianna; my two sisters: Leanne Miesner and Susie McTevia; my BFF Debbie Smith; my cousin Alesha Lockwood; my big Tuxedo cat, Charlie (who purred me to sleep at night and then woke me with his snoring); my three ex-husbands; many boyfriends and many friends, relatives, and co-workers.

I wasn't a workaholic - I just had a great work ethic. I wasn't an alcoholic, but I liked to drink. I wasn't a "So You Think You Can Dance" star but I loved to dance.

My "quality of life" was very important to me. I would not allow the treatment of my cancer to be worse than the cancer itself.

I loved life. I made good decisions most of my life (with the exception of some husbands and boyfriends).

When the Doc gave me my diagnosis, he told me to do the stuff in my "Bucket List". I just smiled because other that appearing on the Judge Judy show (as the plaintiff, the defendant, or a person in the audience), I'd been doing everything in my bucket list my whole life. And, with the help of my son, we got my "affairs in order" in record time!

I believed in and lived by the Serenity Prayer, always knowing what I could change, changing it when I could, and accepting what I could not or chose not to change.

I loved gardening/yard work, cooking, reading, movies, walking, the Cherriot bus system, animals, splitting wood with my hydraulic wood splitter, stacking wood, painting, and country dancing. Check out the handsome cowboy in the above picture.

I want to thank my wonderful children, Jerry and Tracie along with my BFF, Debbie, my sister. Leanne (I called her Annie Boo Boo) who put their own needs aside to do the many tasks of caretaking. It takes very special people to take care of a terminally ill person.

Remember: Live, Love, Laugh (and don't smoke).

Mom passed away peacefully on 02/06/2014 in her Salem home with her family beside her.

Mom was honest, loyal, inspiring, determined, strong, highly energetic, dedicated, and hard working. She had a positive attitude and tried to look for the good in people and situations.

We believe Mom's message would be to treat everyone with kindness, empathy, and compassion. When life sends you a curve balls, face it head on with courage, strength, and dignity. Things happen for a reason but sometimes you may never know what that reason is.

Mom requested that no memorial or funeral services be held.

We would like to thank Gentiva Hospice for the excellent care they gave Mom (and us) during the last months of her life. Arrangements entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services.

Funeral Home

Keizer Funeral Chapel
4365 River Road North Keizer, OR 97303
(503) 393-7037

Published in StatesmanJournal on Feb. 16, 2014