Laurie Kathryn (Bierle) Wright

Laurie Kathryn (Bierle) Wright, age 70, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Saturday, June 12, 2021, at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date with close family and friends.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton, South Dakota.

Laurie Kathryn was welcomed into the world on December 21, 1950 by her parents Paul and Wilma Bierle and big sister Paula.  Named after her mother’s favorite character “Laurie” in Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women, Laurie was similarly fun, mischievous, artistic, outgoing, and rather stubborn at times.  A proud member of “Old Yankton”, Laurie grew-up running the neighborhood with friends, fishing the waters of the Missouri River with her dad, and twirling the baton at Yankton High School. She was proud to have maintained close relationships with numerous classmates throughout her lifetime.

In 1968 Laurie married the love of her life Richard Wright.  They were later blessed with their two girls Chauntel and Erica.   Never a dull moment at the Wright household, it was always busy with friends and family, renovations to their historic home, and AKC Old English Sheepdog puppies which they loved and raised.  In addition to supporting and championing Richard’s blossoming career, Laurie remained on the home front as chief operating officer, head chef, chauffer, medic, crisis manager, counselor, educator, cheerleader, but most importantly friend.  As if two girls weren’t enough, she always made sure to include her niece Chalese who she viewed more as a daughter.

An amazing artist, she sketched and painted, designed and cut stained glass windows, was a floral designer, and an incredible seamstress.  She designed, sewed, and hand sequined and beaded many beautiful one-of-a-kind dresses for proms, weddings, and beauty pageants.  Laurie even became the “seamstress for the band” for many local artists.  During the renovation of their home and building their new home, years before DIY shows were popular, Laurie became a skilled tradeswoman.  There was no job or project she wouldn’t tackle learning how to wallpaper, sheetrock, lay tile and marble, texture and plaster, landscape, and lay bricks. On many occasions, Richard would return from the traveling and a wall would be knocked out and a new project started.

Over the years, she was involved with Questers, Yankton Republicans, Yankton Area Arts Association, served as a Yankton Federal Prison Camp board member, and was a member of PEO.  Her most recent venture was owner and operator of Willa B’s Bistro and Emporium.  Laurie was a good friend and mentor to many believing there is “always room at the table for one more”.  Her kindness and love of many rang true after many years of a lengthy illness.  Even though there will be an empty space at the table and a void with her not here, she will be forever in our hearts and remembered by all of those she touched.

Laurie is survived by her husband Richard, daughters Chauntel Wright (Pete Moore), Erica (Michael) Kostal, grandson Oliver, fur baby Nagi, sister Paula Bierle, niece Chalese, numerous family members and friends.

Laurie was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Wilma; her grandson, Paul Taggart and many family members and friends.

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16 response to "Laurie Kathryn (Bierle) Wright"

  1. By: Craig Johnson Posted: June 14, 2021

    Laurie was a beautiful spirit and always made me smile. I miss her already…….. Thinking of all of you, Erica, Chauntel and Dick…. Her love showed in all her creations……..

  2. By: Ron Kraft Posted: June 14, 2021

    Sorry to hear about Laurie; The RTEC friends are thinking about you. God Bless.

  3. By: Delre (Harris) Kringen Posted: June 14, 2021

    So sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing. May the peace of God rule in your hearts and his arms surround you with comfort and love.

  4. By: Jennifer Satter Posted: June 14, 2021

    Back in the day, Laurie and I played racquetball together! Good memories! She was such a delightful person! I am so sorry for your loss!!!

    Jennifer Satter

  5. By: Joyce (Goeden) Olson Posted: June 15, 2021

    Laurie was a very special person. She will be missed by many. She is resting in the loving hands of our Lord.

  6. By: Kay Kadulka Posted: June 17, 2021

    We have known Laurie for many years & are blessed to have known her.
    She was such a kind soul & we have many great memories from the marina.
    Rest in peace Laurie til we meet again. Hugs!

  7. By: Sandra Moore Posted: June 18, 2021

    Loved meeting Laurie and talking with her wished we had more times together.

  8. By: Kim Braunesreither Posted: June 19, 2021

    Erica, Chauntel and family ….Our deepest sympathies and condolences during this difficult time. May your memories bring you a smile each coming day.
    From all of us at Boomer’s …

  9. By: Tricia Johnson Posted: June 21, 2021

    Laurie was definitely one of a kind and will be greatly missed. She was such a kind hearted soul. I have so many great childhood memories with the Wright family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. By: Robert & Barbara Ruffinott Posted: June 21, 2021

    So sorry for your loss. Paula and Chalese spoke with so much love of Laurie, her daughters, Chauntel and Erica, and husband, Dick. You are all in our thoughts and prayers

  11. By: Leila Lee Ann Harritt Posted: June 23, 2021

    Laurie and I were grew up as sisters. Our family will feel very empty without her.
    You Dick,Chauntel and Erica are all is
    our thoughts and prayers.
    Love Leila and Ira

  12. By: Jerry Novotny Posted: June 23, 2021

    Dick…I am sending my heartfelt sympathies from Oregon. I am so sorry. You were a perfect matched set. Your long-ago friend, Jerry Novotny

  13. By: John Conkling Posted: June 25, 2021

    Sorry for your loss . I have very fond memories of Laurie from our childhood. Lori lived right across the alley from me. She was three years older than me. If my memory is correct, she used to organize us younger kids to put on skits. I’m thinking I was maybe five or six years old. She was such a nice person to us. I think we hung out at her house quite a bit. She did move away after a couple of years or so. She made such an impression on me that I remember when I became a little older in grade school that I went to visit her once at least in her new residence. Whenever I think of her it makes me smile. May God give you all peace during this time.

  14. By: Jackie (Dyrland) lake Posted: June 28, 2021

    I was Laurie’s best friend when we were on Linn Street.. actually John Conklin was my neighbor as well.. We all had such fun times together. One of my favorite slide pictures was me and Laurie pushing the hand mower with my father right behind. We reconnected a few years ago at WillaB’s I knew Wilma and Paul as well. so glad we could meet up at our 50th High School reunion. Laurie, you made an incredible impact on all you met with all your incredible artistic talents !

  15. By: Leslie (Buehrer) Wagner Posted: June 29, 2021

    I have many wonderful childhood memories playing at “the Wrights” and loved spending time there. My deepest sympathies are with you all.

  16. By: Sonia nolte Posted: July 14, 2021

    Thinking about you all. I have the greatest memories of Laurie. She was such a wonderful person. Love you Laurie!

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