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Laura Louise Tatum

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Laura Louise Tatum Obituary
TATUM, LAURA LOUISE Laura Louise Tatum, 37, of Guilford, CT died October 13, 2012, ever indomitable, after grappling with ovarian cancer. Laura was born October 5, 1975, to Bill and Teresa Tatum in Astoria, Oregon, and came of age in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Tigard High School in 1993, Laura headed east to Columbia College in the City of New York, where she discovered her personal and professional callings: the professional via work at Columbia's Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, and the personal through her unbound delight in the vibrancy of life in New York City. Upon graduation, Laura took a position in the library of the Museum of Modern Art before returning to school to earn her MSI in Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan in 2002. Laura spent much of her career in Manuscripts and Archives at Yale University, starting as a 2002 Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship. Laura's many accomplishments at Yale include processing the Eero Saarinen Collection and developing an innovative shared responsibility model for large collections from architectural firms. Laura also enjoyed working at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003-4, where she was the project archivist for a two-year NEH-funded project entitled "The Moderns: Arrangement and Description of Bay Region Architectural Archives." In 2011, Laura was appointed the Associate Director for Collections at the Canadian Centre for Architecture at Montreal where she served until February of this year. Laura was recognized by her peers as one of the best architectural records archivists in the nation, and held leadership roles with the Society of American Archivists and the International Confederation of Architectural Museums. Laura shared her erudite passion and inquisitive zest with her long-time partner and husband, Andrew Benner. Married January 16, 2009, they made a home in a mid-century, modern wood-and-glass cabin on a pond in Guilford, CT with their two beloved cats Blini and Nutkin. She had peerless taste and a fearless palate, and took deep pleasure in shared meals and conversations. Following her gustatory compass directly to the good stuff and graciously inviting us along, Laura often wrote about food, keeping a blog and contributing to several books. Joining Laura for a meal, or for any reason, was an occasion never to be missed. Laura is survived by her husband Andy, her sister Jesse (Albuquerque, NM), brother Mitchell (Portland, OR), her parents Bill and Lynda Tatum (Phoenix, AZ), and hundreds of friends around the world, all of whom have been leavened and edified by her brilliant smile, uproarious laugh and eyes that flashed with an authentic, congenial and crackling wit. She is preceded in death by her mother, Teresa Karch Tatum. Memorial services are being planned for the east and west coasts at a later date. Please contact family for details. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to The Center for Land Use Interpretation at www.clui.org or The Connecticut Food Bank at www.ctfoodbank.org.

Published in The New Haven Register on Oct. 19, 2012
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