Laurie A. Kean

Obituary
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Kean, Laurie A. ALBANY, N.Y. Laurie A. Kean, 51, passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2008. She is survived by three siblings, Timothy Kean (and wife Marie Goulet) of Martinez, Ga., Thomas Kean (and wife Yunsil Kean) of Concho, Ariz. and Lisa Kean (and husband Neil Hardwick) of Kalispell, Mont.; nephews, Michael Kean of West Lafayette, Ind., William Kean of New York, N.Y., Dillon Hardwick of Kalispell, Mont. and niece Grace Hardwick of Kalispell, Mont. She is also survived by her devoted friend, Leslie Depew of Albany, N.Y. She is predeceased by her father, Michael Kean and mother, Beverly Kean, both former residents of Syracuse, N.Y. Laurie passed away on April 27, the day which would have been her mother's 79th birthday, and almost exactly 30 years after her father died at the same age of 51. Laurie valued learning, literature, medicine, the beauty of water, and nature. She loved reading mountains of books inside her tent while camping in upstate New York. In fact, she kept her outdoor equipment in the back of her car (along with a good portable reading lamp) in the event that an opportunity to pitch her tent someplace interesting presented itself. It was still there the day she died. She also spent a great deal of her time educating herself about the power of spirituality. She also made a point, especially during her final months, to use her time and resources reaching out to others, particularly those of the younger generation: children at Unity Church whom she taught and cared about, her neighbor Michael, and especially her niece and nephews who cared very deeply for her. She taught her niece and nephew beginning card games and Monopoly a few weeks before she died. She had a unique and special talent for synchronized swimming during her teen years in upstate New York. She always thought it was a challenging and underrated sport. Although she said she was the non-academic one of the family, she actually possessed a 3.7 college grade point average. She could type complex medical reports at 95 words per minute. She read virtually everything she could get her hands on. Science and medicine fascinated her. Her interest in medical efforts to research and find cures for life-threatening diseases was one of the most driving forces of her life. She was a beautiful and often independent soul who opened her heart by reaching out to people in numerous, special ways. She was good at asking others the questions that really mattered, just like her father had during his lifetime. She did this without judgment and succeeded at treating everyone equally and with respect - all of us part of one big human family. She never compromised her values. She cared deeply about her doctors and nurses as human beings and never stopped believing in the cures and comforts they diligently tried to provide for her. As her family, we extend our most sincere appreciation and gratitude to the medical professionals who helped her. You know who you are. Thank you for everything. Laurie showed us her proud, independent, caring self until the day she continued onto the next step of her spiritual journey. This attitude was strikingly similar to her mother's strong-minded, fiery, never-give-up-until-you-have-to approach during the final chapters of her life. Laurie's strength and determination was evident the day before she died as she enthusiastically shopped for items to decorate her house to make it welcoming for her upcoming family house-guests, especially her young niece and nephew. She concluded that day by attending a work party that night as well. Her caring friend Leslie promised to be with her to the end of this life and indeed she was: Laurie passed peacefully and easily into the next life with Leslie by her side. Leslie, no words can begin to express the depth of our gratitude. Contributions may be made in Laurie's memory to any of the following organizations she really cared about: the , the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, or Autism Speaks. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, please quit today. Give your family the greatest gift there is: your extended life. Laurie's friends and extended family may leave online messages at the Times Union obituary guest book via Legacy. A memorial service honoring Laurie's life will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 25 at Unity Church, 21 King Avenue in Albany, service presided by Reverend James Fuller. Friends and other loved ones wishing to express ways Laurie touched their lives are invited to share their stories during this celebratory service. A picnic lunch will follow. All friends and family are welcome. Laur, we miss you. We will see you again.
Published in Albany Times Union on May 18, 2008
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