In Memory of





Obituary for Laurie Lee Schmidt (Schmidt)

Laurie Lee Schmidt passed away peacefully on August 19 at the age of 57, surrounded by family and friends, after an eight and half-year battle with breast cancer. She is preceded in passing by grandparents Franklin & Margaret Schmidt, Amanda & Lloyd Allan and Elmer Hirman; aunts Barb and Joan Hirman; uncles Arland Hirman, Allan and Ron Schmidt, Lavern Olson, John Hugh; and beloved pups, Baxter and Misty. She is survived by parents Larry (Pat) Schmidt and Irene (Zoltan) Sari; brothers David Schmidt and Aaron (Shannon) Sari; sisters Emily and Annie Schmidt; nephews and niece Niko, Winston, and Avielle; aunts Bonnie Schmidt, Shirley Olson, Marilyn Hugh, Gail Schmidt, and uncle Loren Hirman; step-aunts and uncles Gwen & Boyd Thomas and Barb & Chuck Koelln; many cousins, dear friends, and two very loyal kitties (Peanut and Walnut).

Laurie was born on February 28, 1964 at Eitel Hospital in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Louis Park, where she proudly led cheers for the Orioles on the court, field, and ice. Her childhood weekends were spent at Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt’s farm, where she fell in love with animals. Cows were her favorite, as evidenced by her impressive collection of cow-themed keepsakes. Her lifelong love of cabin time started when she was five, waterskiing with her younger brother, David, and taking the boat out with her dad. After graduating from SLPHS in 1982, she attended U of M - Duluth. She taught elementary school for several years in Superior, WI. Passionate about learning, she continued her studies at Hamline, Augsburg, St. Thomas, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Mary’s in Winona.

Laurie moved to Jordan, MN in 2004 and became a cornerstone of the special education department at Jordan Middle School. In 2020, she was awarded Minnesota Middle School Educator of the Year, an honor she described as surprising and humbling. Working with students on the autism spectrum was her passion, and she dedicated her life to helping kids discover the joy of learning. She always saw the best in her learners; her patience, warmth, and commitment made her a favorite among students and their families. Laurie also volunteered her time with the Student Council and the Mad Science after-school program. The ultimate day-brightener, she constantly found ways to surprise, support, and uplift her co-workers.

Laurie’s favorite activities included kayaking on Lake Ann, visiting the humane society and her brother’s farm, and relaxing at her family’s cabin. She also loved to travel, and road trips involved lots of singing and lots of apologizing for being “tone deaf” (she wasn’t). Laurie visited 49 states and made it to many of the county fairs in Minnesota (after doing historical research on each county, of course). She loved Prince, coffee, and laughing until tears streamed down her face.

Laurie was the heart of her family. She was a beloved big sister and best friends with her cousins. She brought the family together over the holidays with impromptu dance parties, sing-a-longs, and themed Christmases. Laurie was a gracious and generous person to all, always supportive in challenging times with cards and phone calls.

Her grandma Schmidt used to call her “Laurax,” a fitting nickname considering the themes of advocacy in Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax.” Laurie herself was a lifelong advocate, an altruistic helper, and a voice for those in need. To celebrate her 50th birthday, she organized a group to assemble meals for Feed my Starving Children. She also volunteered at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee with the ministry team. Her selfless actions, courageous positivity, and quick-to-laugh spirit are her legacies. She will be dearly missed.

She wanted her story to enable women to become their own personal health advocates and to stay vigilant about breast cancer screening. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Frauenshuh Cancer Center, Animal Humane Society, or Feed My Starving Children are preferred.

Funeral service 1 PM Monday 8-30-2021 at Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Road, St. Louis Park. Visitation 4-8:00 PM Sunday 8-29-2021 at Huber Funeral Home, 16394 Glory Lane, Eden Prairie and one hour prior to service at CHURCH.

Huber Funeral & Cremation Services
Eden Prairie Chapel 952-949-4970