Ann Cathleen Laursen died peacefully on September 17, 2019 at the age of 98.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 22, 1921, she was the middle daughter of
E.T. and Theresa Collins. She graduated from Marycrest College in 1945 and
taught high school drama and English. Later she earned master’s degrees in speech
pathology at the University of Iowa, and rehabilitation counseling at the University
of Arizona. She worked for the State of Arizona as a rehabilitation counselor for
Blind Services, helping her visually impaired clients navigate the world.
She married Emmett Morton Laursen in 1951 and honeymooned in Bogota and
Havana. Emmett (Laurs), a professor of civil engineering at the University of
Arizona and a renowned hydraulics researcher, passed away on October 17, 2013.
As a child, Ann took elocution lessons at which she excelled and thereafter prided
herself on her clear enunciation. She was always the smartest girl in school and
could remember the names and faces of everyone in her kindergarten class and all
of the neighbors she grew up with until the age of 91.
Her husband Laurs and grandson Nicholas preceded her in death. She is survived
by her children, Thomas Laursen (Michele) of Park City, Utah; Suzanne Laursen
of Tucson, Arizona, Patrick Laursen (Shelly) of San Antonio, Texas, and
grandchildren, Jack Laursen of Brooklyn, New York; Jenna Urben (Zack) of
Dallas, Texas, and Stacey Laursen of Dallas, Texas; as well as her sister Mary
Hamilton of Dallas, Texas and numerous nieces and nephews
Ann was a devoted wife and mother, art lover, accomplished cook, and avid bridge
player. She encouraged her children in all their endeavors. While she loved
Iowa’s butter and corn, she perfected her trademark huevos rancheros and fried
chicken, and her grandchildren still remember her root beer floats. In her travels
around southern Arizona, she drove her 1970 Pontiac Firebird and wore a trench
coat and a pair of wrap-around sunglasses. Whenever she was near the Mexican
border she took the opportunity to promote free trade by smuggling rum and
tequila under the seats of the car, or if her sister Pat (Sister Ann Therese) was
there, under the pleats of her habit.
We will miss her smiling Irish eyes and joie de vivre. A celebration of life is
planned for a later date. Please send memories and condolences to Thomas
Laursen, 5825 Mountain Ranch Drive, Park City, UT 84098,
To send flowers to Ann's family, please visit our floral section.