“Wow…where do I start?” Those are the words of Jim Hardy when asked what he remembers about Laurie Wilson, our beloved Executive Assistant who departed this world for heaven on January 16th, 2019, to the shock and sorrow of everyone who knew and loved her.
Jim Hardy was the Director of Development at Nebraska Christian College when he hired her for her first position at NCC. He goes on to say, “When I advertised for the secretarial position for the college, I interviewed 2 or 3 people who were all very nice and well qualified; but before Laurie was even finished with her interview, I knew she was the perfect fit. Laurie possessed all the necessary skills for the job requirements, but she also brought a balance of confidence, humility, persistence, friendliness, professionalism and spiritual stability. Laurie's work ethic won her the respect of her co-workers at the college, she arrived early and stayed late whenever there was a need; but it was her friendly smile and sincere concern that had people going out of their way to just walk by her desk and visit for even a minute. Wherever Laurie happened to be, she made that part of the world a better place.”
In a February meeting of NCC faculty and staff members, many shared fond memories of Laurie. Every person in the room had been touched by her and expressed their feeling of loss. Here are just a few additional comments about Laurie from NCC personnel:
“All of us at HIU are deeply saddened to learn that Laurie has passed away and know this is a very difficult time for the NCC campus community. She has always been such a positive presence and it is hard to imagine just how much she will be missed. We extend our heartfelt sympathy as you go through this trial. We have been and will be praying for all of you and her family. . . “
–Dr. John Derry, HIU President
“Many people did not realize that Laurie was a trained, classical musician with a lovely soprano voice. She used this gift singing for Opera Omaha, in the churches she served, and taught voice lessons for the students at NCC. As with all her gifts, she gave her musical talents freely to serve Christ and the church with joy and excellence. I’m sure there is a choir in heaven that has welcomed her.”
–Dr. Mark Krause, Academic Dean
“I’ve worked with Laurie ever since she came to Nebraska Christian College. Laurie was a professional. Excellence always shone in every task. But her personal touch, to make people feel valued and welcome; her attention to students, staff, and visitors, brought the Spirit of Christ into every encounter. We will greatly miss her. Our prayers go out to her family and loved ones in this great loss. Like a sunrise, or a rainbow, Laurie brought light and beauty everywhere she went.”
“Laurie was very gifted in many areas and always willing and more than capable of helping in any situation. Knowing that she seemed to find an answer to almost any question, I would occasionally ask if she knew where something was located. It seemed like it was always within 10 minutes that Laurie would produce exactly what I needed! Just before leaving for Christmas, Laurie organized the staff and faculty Christmas party, something she had done many times. When I contacted Chris Claussen (NCC Trustee) to let her know about Laurie’s passing, her first comment was ‘Oh my, I can still see her so vibrant and engaged at the Christmas party!’ I’ve only known Laurie for 2 ½ years but it was obvious that her space in the office was a “hub” where everyone stopped to say ‘hi,’ and share a laugh or smile at least once a day. Laurie left an indelible impression at NCC that will be felt for a long time to come.”
–Jane Jech, Director of Development & Church Relations
Beyond NCC, Laurie was well known for her many contributions in the greater Omaha Community, including her active participation in the Omaha Opera Chorus and soloing at weddings and funerals. She also taught piano, led children’s music, and worked for the Symphony.
Our thoughts and prayers for Laurie’s family will continue indefinitely. She had been excited about two upcoming weddings in the family and expecting a new grandchild in the coming months. She and her husband, Dennis, have three daughters: Jennifer (Alan) Fogelman, Katlin (engaged to Kyle Sinclair), and Mara (engaged to Jason Schmidt). They currently have four grandchildren: Kamryn, Lucy, Nora, and Milan. Her family requested that memorial gifts be directed to the American Cancer Society or Nebraska Christian College.