Feb. 14, 1955 - May 18, 2016
NEW BUFFALO - On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Laura Simeri left our world. After an eight month battle with cancer, my beautiful mother decided it was time to go visit her brother and her father at the Great Nicola's in the sky. My mother was the toughest, most wonderful person I have ever known. No one could ever hope to have a better mother. A single parent and solo business owner, my mother was as busy as she could be. Yet she never missed a ball game or play. She was always there for me and for all of us when we needed her to be. In times of turmoil, it was her voice that rose above all the rest to guide us back to where we needed to be. My mother was the person a whole community turned to for honest advice and the more than frequent kick in the rear end. What hurts the most is knowing we can no longer stop by downtown to get an earful of Italian brass from the God-Mother of South Bend. But my mother hasn't truly left us. We still carry her in our hearts. And when we turned to my mother for her advice and guidance, we knew we would be hearing the truth, because my mother was the one who had the strength and love to tell it. But that voice, my mother's voice, is inside all of us. We just have to find the strength ourselves to listen to it, because we have lost our greatest helper. Mother did not wish to have a conventional funeral, big shocker there. My mother was always the type to blaze her own trail. She was no different in this, the end. What she wanted instead was for us to raise our glasses, say her name, and tell stories of her. Lord knows she left us no shortage of stories. So long as we have our stories, we still have our friend, our confidant, our leader, our matron mother. So long as we draw breath, Laura lives within each one of us.
Myself and my family are extremely grateful for everyone that has shown such wonderful support. We are all one big family and will remain that way forever. Arrangements have been entrusted to Sommerfeld Chapel, 15 N. Barton St., New Buffalo, MI.
Laura Lynn Simeri was born on February 14, 1955, in South Bend, the best Valentine gift a parent could hope for, to Nicholas T. and Dema Simeri. Laura was preceded in death by her father, Nicholas T. Simeri (1973) and her beloved brother, Nicholas A. Simeri (2010). She is survived by her cherished son, Dominick Rocco Simeri; her mother, Dema Simeri; and her siblings, Brenda (Jeff) Hinkle, Jill (Larry) Fluke, Holly (Steve) Hubner and Anthony (Kim) Simeri. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, whom she loved like they were her own, Alexander (Madelyn) Lascano, Andrew Lascano, Natalie Simeri, Nicholas C. Simeri, Nicole Simeri, Ashley Simeri and Mindy Wegner; and great-nieces, Olivia Lascano and Gia Simeri. Laura's family also includes Armando Federico, Rosa Federico, and Jose Federico, whom she loved dearly and were an integral part of her life. And of course, her family at the Madison Oyster Bar.
Laura graduated from Andrew Jackson High School where she excelled in musical productions, glee club and choir. She loved to travel, read, garden and was an excellent cook. She loved spending time on the beaches of Lake Michigan. She also had a passion for mentoring young people. She considered everyone her family and would help anyone in need.
Laura's crowning achievement, other than being a wonderful mother, was her success as the owner of the Madison Oyster Bar. She worked her heart and soul out to turn her business into a thriving DTSB attraction. Her quick wit, charm and her love for a good debate kept people coming back. Laura was always entertaining.
In honor of Laura, be kind, forgiving and loving. She'll see you later.
Published by South Bend Tribune on May 24, 2016.