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.