Laura Ann Parks Carr, 66, of Topeka, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on August 23, 2017. She was born January 20, 1951 in Memphis, Tennessee, daughter of Robert G. and Mary Lu (Bodkin) Parks.
Born with an inclusive and open spirit, Laura made lifelong friendships wherever she lived. She graduated from Webster Groves High School in Webster Groves, Missouri in 1969. Her passion for learning led her to the University of Kansas, where she began her enduring past time of cheering on the Jayhawks, joined the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. She married Neil M. Carr on Dec. 27, 1975 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Laura derived great joy in her profession as a speech-language pathologist through her retirement from USD 501 in 2013. Always curious, she loved the journey of learning and helping children achieve communication skills for success in school and life. Students and their families will fondly remember Laura as their wise and caring speech therapist. The ultimate volunteer, she lent her many gifts to Topeka public schools, First Congregational Church, and the Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Laura made every moment count and everybody count in those moments. She was thoughtful and generous, known for her encouraging notes, available presence, and detailed touches that made life with her extra special.
Life was a joy for Laura. She had an easy laugh, an infectious sense of humor and delighted in sharing a good story. Instinctively understanding of others, fiercely loyal, and incredibly inspirational, it was a gift to know the kindness and greatness of her love. Hers was a life of impact and strength to many people, but she would readily say that her most treasured accomplishments were raising her three children with her husband and welcoming her grandsons into the world. She loved her family and they loved her.
Laura is survived by her husband of 42 years, Dr. Neil Carr of Topeka; daughter, Meredith Carr; sons, Alex (Jamie) and Phillip Carr; and two grandsons, Owen and Aiden Carr, all of Kansas City. Additional survivors include her two sisters, Marty (Pat) Colwell of Waterloo, Iowa, and Mary (Jeff) Stier of Des Moines, Iowa; two sisters-in-law, Pam (Chuck) Sourk of Scott City, Kansas, and Karen Morrison of Colby, Kansas, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held at First Congregational Church (address below) on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made directly to the following in her name: National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation2843 East Grand River Ste 230 East Lansing, MI 48823 First Congregational Church of Topeka, 1701 Collins Avenue Topeka, KS 66604.
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