Laura Mary Baldassi (nee Pratt), born Aug. 12, 1939, passed away Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, after a valiant two-year struggle with cancer. Laura passed away peacefully in the Community Support beds in Fort Macleod.
Born and raised at Trail, B.C., Laura met and married her life-long love, Bob Baldassi, in April 1956. In 1959 the little family moved to Vancouver and subsequently, in 1961 to Coquitlam, B.C. where Laura continued to be a wonderful wife and mom to her four children.
The homemaking skills Laura developed were unsurpassed as she became an excellent cook and baker, seamstress and quilter. Her home, frequently bursting at the seams with people, became a meeting place and haven for those she loved.
Laura started working outside the home in 1968 for Don Forbes at Able Trade Bindery in North Vancouver.
In 1976 her marriage ended and Laura went to work for a credit union in South Vancouver. She met Albert Baldissera during that time and they became life partners.
Life was very exciting the next years as she and Albert travelled extensively to Rio in Brazil, Cairns, Babinda and The Great Barrier Reef in Northern Queensland, Australia, on safari in Kenya, to England and twice to Italy.
Upon Albert’s death in January 1986, Laura undertook the management of his two waste companies, doing so successfully until 1994, when her health forced her to retire.
After 20 years in Maple Ridge, Laura relocated to Fort Macleod in 1997. She loved her “little house on the edge of the prairie,” where she could gaze out over the land and Chief Mountain, enjoying horses for neighbours and within sight of the magnificent Rockies.
In her later years, Laura enjoyed trips with her sister Cathy to the west coast, to northern Alberta, to Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as to Florida, namely St. Pete’s Beach, always returning to Silver Birch Camp at Christina Lake, B.C., spending summers making happy memories, sharing in five generations of family fun and tradition.
Laura is survived by her children Ken (Bobbi), Candice (Tim Storvold), Frank (Vera), and Blake (Marie); her sister Cathy Dietrich; sisters-in-law Diane Pratt and Lena (Dn Rodlie); brothers-in-law Louie (Lynne) Forlin and Pete Baldassi (Jan); 10 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; her daughters-in-law Peggy (Dave), Curtis and Lydia (John) Nelson; a very large extended family; many treasured friends including her long-time neighbour, friend and confidant, Vi Forbes Ialungo.
Laura was predeceased by her father Frank (1964); mother Marie (2011; sister Doreen (1995); brother Frank John (2010); her partner Albert (1986); nother-in-law Lil (1984); father-in-law Mills (1992); R.W. (Bob) Baldassi (2011); daughter-in-law Lori Baldassi (1996); brothers-in-law Jack Baldassi and Frank Dietrich (2007); and her grandson Wade Evan Storvold (2002).
Throughout the many phases of her life, Laura lived one day at a time, first and foremost a great mom, grandma, auntie, sister, wife, partner and friend. She endeavoured to pass her love of music, dancing, swimming and family tradition to all who shared her life.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate Laura on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Christ Church Anglican, Fort Macleod. Inurnment to follow at Union Cemetery.
If desired, donations in Laura’s memory may be made to the Community Support Beds, c/o Fort Macleod Health Care Centre, P.O. Box 1866, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0, or to a charity of your choice.