Laurel R. Rea was born on June 3, 1929 in Tracy, Minnesota, and grew up on the family farm south of town. She was baptized and confirmed in the Tracy Presbyterian Church and graduated from Tracy High School on June 5, 1947. She married Duwayne “Razz” Rea, also of Tracy, on June 27, 1947. They were married for 47 years.
Laurel worked as a cashier in Tracy’s first “super market” and later moved to Fairmont, Minnesota when Razz joined the Al Menke Orchestra in 1949. In 1956 they moved to Omaha, NE when Razz joined the Pat Hamilton Trio, and Laurel worked part time in several capacities: as an Avon Lady, an assistant Sunday school teacher, and a seamstress. They had two children, Neal (1960) and Eric (1962). Laurel began a career with Northwestern Bell/US West in 1971 and retired in 1992.
Laurel became a member of the Catholic faith in 1976 at Holy Name Catholic Church. Over the years her involvement at Holy Name included numerous volunteer roles including president of the Women’s Confraternity; serving as a lector and EME, working in the rectory office and the development/alumni office; helping with bingo, outreach program, and at the Humble Jumble store.
Laurel completed nine semesters of basic and advanced computer science and electronics studies (with honors) after age 50. Her other hobbies included stock car racing, crocheting, gardening, and word puzzles.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Razz; son, Neal, parents, Clyde and Fae Robbins; and brother, Robert (Maxine). She is survived by son, Eric Rea (Mary) of St. Paul; granddaughter, Jennifer Bennett (Alvin) of Omaha, NE; nephews, nieces, and cousins.
She passed away October 11, 2018. A mass of Christian burial was held on Saturday, October 13th at Holy Name Catholic Church and interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Omaha, NE.