In the days before her death Thursday morning, Laureen Fanning started sending selfies to the family chat. Hearts, emojis, birthday wishes, cheering on (and lovingly scolding) her family all from her hospital bed. She brought joy and comfort to the very end.
Laureen could reliably be found with her sweetie, Frank, or her best friend, Denise. She loved a golf cart ride down to the river or a long chat in her kitchen. A loyal friend, she was often laughing, always smiling. She radiated love and lit up every room. Though she came from a large family, her friends were her family too. She built and sustained lifelong friendships.
Born Laureen Landry, daughter of Charles and Mary Landry (nee Pendergast). Fifth-born of six girls, she was sister to Sharon (1948-1949), Maureen, Kathleen, Charlene, and Mary. She was mischievous, independent, did things her way, and wasn’t one to ask for approval. She was direct with her opinion, dosed evenly with love and sharp wit. She carried her rebel spirit through her extended battle with COPD, which came to a sudden end after years of fighting.
Laureen was the fun one. A big kid at heart, she was special to children of all ages. Never having children of her own, she was a doting Aunt to her many nieces and nephews, always affectionate and quick to say how much she loved them. She would load her car with as much family as she could pack in and take them car dancing. She was the master of getting the kids to drink milk by making it magical. She was known to take in strays—her beloved cats, deer, family, and friends that needed a place to crash. Every holiday was spent around many tables stretched throughout her house. Her Easter egg hunts were epic, and no get-together was complete without her famous macaroni and cheese.
She spent her career as a dedicated and hard-working employee of Ann & Hope. She was also an excellent cook, talented gardener, and skilled adversary at any word game.
She could never know the lasting imprint she left on everyone that had the privilege of being part of her life. She prioritized her relationships, and everyone was better for it.
Laureen’s memory will live on in her husband Frank Fanning; her stepdaughters Jordan and Kelly Fanning; her sisters Maureen Swanson, Kathy Vespia, Charlene Pursell, and Mary Doyle; best friend Denise Kowalczyk; sister-in-law Sister Marilyn Fanning; brother-in-law Mike Pursell; and her many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her sister Sharon; brother-in-law Wayne Swanson; brother-in-law John Fanning; and her cats, Tilly, Tuffy, Brutus, and Nutsy.
A Celebration of life will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. in ‘’WOODLAWN’’ Funeral Home 600 Pontiac Ave. Cranston. VISITATION SATURDAY MORNING FROM 9 to 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In the spirit of Laureen, please share the joy she brought to your life.
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