LAURI LOUISE FORTUNE was born May 16, 1960, to Russell and Rose (Snyder) Gardner in Starbuck, Minnesota where she was raised until the age of 10. Her father’s job was transferred to Minot, North Dakota and the family all made the move. It was here that Lauri met her lifelong best friend, Margo Barnes. In 1978, she graduated from Minot High School and then completed nursing school at Trinity Hospital. Lauri entered the United States Air Force in 1981 and served her country for four years. While stationed in Minot, she met Douglas Fortune. The couple shared a dance together and soon after began dating. On June 18, 1982, the two were married at the Minot Air Force Base. They made their home in Minot where, according to Lauri, she worked as a “paper pusher” handling purchase agreement contracts for the base’s operations. She and Doug were blessed with two daughters, Miranda and Kirsten. In 1987, the family moved to Sparta, Virginia. Lauri was a homemaker to their two daughters while also working part-time as a CNA for local hospitals. While her husband was stationed overseas, Lauri moved to Pipestone, Minnesota in 2011 to be with her mom. In addition to caring for her mom, Lauri served as a crossing guard for kids at the Hank’s Foods location. Recently she began feeling ill and on October 16, 2021 was diagnosed with stage 4, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer. On Saturday, October 30, 2021, Lauri died peacefully surrounded by her family at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the age of 61 years, five months, and 14 days.
Lauri was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Sparta, Virginia where she was active in church activities and sang in choir. She was a volunteer with Relay for Life and several veteran organizations. Lauri enjoyed antique shopping, cross stitching and flower gardening. She often told her family members they should keep everything for you never know when you may need something. She will be remembered for being such a genuinely happy person in addition to having great love and compassion to others.
Lauri is survived by her husband of 39 years, Doug Fortune of Pipestone; two daughters, Miranda Davis (Jay Morrison) of Mechanicsville, Virginia and Kirsten (Michael) Washington of Leland, North Carolina; grandchildren, Noah and Elijah Washington, Addison Davis and Andrew Sharp, Jr.; brother, Mark (Nancy) Gardner; and many other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russell and Rose.
Memorials may be directed to a local American Cancer Society - Relay for Life program.