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1958 Laurie 2014

Laurie Lynn O'Brien

December 21, 1958 — November 20, 2014

Laurie Lynn (Hamer) O’Brien passed away in the arms of her husband Thursday, November 20 after eight years of courageously battling cancer. Laurie was born December 21, 1958 in Helena to parents Russell and Janice Hamer. She attended elementary school in East Helena, middle school at CR Anderson in Helena and graduated from Helena Capital in 1976. She graduated from Western Montana College with a BA in Business and a BS in Elementary Education and completed a Masters Degree from Lesley University. While in high school she was on the cross country team, track team, and played basketball for the Bruins. Laurie was mischievous and was always looking to tease or play jokes on her friends. She was the only female in her high school auto mechanics class and was “said” to be responsible for pulling fire alarms to empty the school. But she denied it with a big smile. In college she participated in track and basketball, and was an ambassador for recruiting new students. This is where she met the love of her life, Bud O’Brien. They were married in 1982. In the fall of 1981 Laurie joined the teaching staff at Quaw Elementary in Belgrade and taught third grade there for 29 years. Laurie’s classroom always contained a menagerie of critters; box turtles, a tarantula, hermit crabs, aquatic turtles, three large fish aquariums…and kids. Throughout her teaching career Laurie had multiple accomplishments. Among them were attending the National Science Convention in Boston, sleeping in a teepee at an Outdoor Science workshop in Choteau, and being selected to attend NASA Education workshop in California. Laurie also coached 5th and 6th grade boys basketball, was an assistant volleyball coach when Belgrade captured the State Title in 1991, and served as an officer for the Belgrade Education Association. Laurie and Bud did not have children but their nephews Russell and Bradley Milam were like their own. Uncle Bud would coach their t-ball teams and Aunt Laurie was the team Mom organizer of snacks. They both attended all the boys’ midget football games, high school games, and rarely missed a track meet following them throughout their collegiate track meets. Laurie loved to scrapbook, read, 4-wheel, tend flower gardens, and golf. She volunteered at the Peace Lutheran Church serving lunches to Belgrade High students and volunteered at Sack’s Thrift Store in Belgrade organizing books. Laurie is survived by her husband Robert O’Brien, her parents Russell and Janice Hamer of Helena, Montana. Two sisters, Reene’ (Gary) Milam of Bozeman, and Valerie Eickmeyer of Helena. Nephew Russell (Susie) Milam of Cohagen, Montana and their children Hannah and Addison. Nephew Bradley (Ana) Milam of Las Vegas, Nevada and their children Alexia, Adajah, Jayson, and Ariana. Nephew Brandon (Stephanie) of Polson, Montana and their son Nicoli. Nephew Cody Eickmeyer of Helena, Niece Andrea Eickmeyer of Helena. Mother in Law Margie O’Brien of Florence, Montana. Sister in Law Rose O’Brien of Chicago, Illinois, Mary (Donnie) Soito of Boise, Idaho and their children Robbie and his son Conner, and Katie Soito. Brother in Laws Keith (Shannon) O’Brien of Florence and their children Chad and Carly, Kevin (Debra) O’Brien and their children Rosie and Mickie. Laurie is preceded in death by her nephew Christopher Milam and father in law Robert O’Brien. Memorials may be made to the Cancer Community Center, 102 S. 11th, Bozeman, Montana 59715. A celebration of her life will be Thursday, December 4 at 4:30 PM at the Peace Lutheran Church, 203 Jackrabbit Lane, Belgrade.

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