Laura passed away peacefully on October 29th from her 6-month fight with cancer. She was a caring, compassionate, beautiful soul that was loved and will be missed by many.
We are graduate students and faculty with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) at University of Houston, where Laura worked as a program manager. Many people have passed through this program and all were affected by the welcoming nature and extreme love she had for all ‘her’ students. She was well known for bringing homemade cakes (specifically pineapple upside-down, which was the favorite of many) with the intention of adding smiles, lifting moods, and instilling a sense of peace into the office.
She also took on the role as mentor for students who needed help coping with the stress of graduate school. She was always ready with an open door, a warming smile, and ready ears to listen, comfort, and support. Her light-hearted nature, positive energy, and even better jokes, brightened the lives of everyone around her. She saw many of her students graduate and move on to do great things with their lives. And she often went out of her way to ensure that her students felt welcome and valued.
Cheerful, positive, and determined - she remained this way to the very end. Her kind and warm nature and her beautiful smile will not be forgotten.
Now, a beautiful, caring person is gone. We all feel it and will not forget the impact she left on this world any time soon. She had tremendous effect on everyone who worked and studied at NCALM.
She has left behind a loving husband, Tony, who is equally as remarkable a person as she was. We were all ‘her’ students, and Tony made it obvious from the start that he cared just as much.
Whenever any of us came by their house, Tony was excited to have guests and always made sure we were comfortable. He was often laughing and ready with drink and food in hand. Tony was with Laura to the very end, and Laura describes him best in a post she made a few months ago:
“A few thoughts on my hubby, Tony Murphy. He has been my rock for 30 years. I love him with all my heart and soul. Why he loves me I may never know. But I thank God every day for bringing this man into my life. Yes, we've weathered some really rough storms during our life together but we've always come through. He's had to deal with a lot in recent weeks. Some things that have humiliated me down to my toes. I am not perfect but he loves me in spite of my faults and sins. If I had a wish for everyone in the world it is that they would find a husband like mine. If I could live a 1,000 years or more, I would never be good or worthy enough to deserve the love and devotion this man has given me.”
Laura and Tony are the epitome of a loving relationship. Everyone knew Laura and Tony as downright good people. Although we cannot take away the pain that Tony is left feeling from this past week, in loving memory of Laura, we are hoping to alleviate some of the financial stress, such as the funeral, medical bills, and savings the two may have used to pay for medical expenses. Laura and Tony gave so much of themselves to everyone around them, we hope, in some way, to be able to give something back.
With all our love,