Sarah Montgomery

Just knowing Laura through her mother Chris, her life has been an inspiration to many of us, and we mourn her loss as if we had known her. My prayers are with you and your family.

Katie Derouen

This woman right here, was easily one of the most enriching person I have ever met. Life is too short and my heart breaks deeply hearing about her passing. Sending all my prayers and love your way! God left all that have come in contact with her, a piece of her and that’s always something you have to remind yourself!

Margaret Mathews

I am so sorry to hear of Laura’s passing. Having been through the cancer experience several times, I know the challenges of that battle. I hope you and your family will find solace with those who love and care about you. With love, Margaret

Mary and Larry Steichen, and Gabby

Jay, we were so sorry to learn of Laura’s passing. Laura was one of the most compassionate, caring people I’ve ever met. Her long battle and fierce efforts are an inspiration. I know this is such a difficult time for you and your family. We are remembering all of you in our prayers.

Liz Blood

Laura had a big influence on me as a young adult. She let me stay with her when I visited Westminster and she looked out for me when I was a freshman and sophomore there. She showed me it was possible to be beautiful and smart, to have fun and work hard, to be kind and speak up when she thought something was wrong. I looked up to her and was lucky to know her. I’m sure anyone who knows her feels the same.

Vera Gordy

I met Laura at Westminster School in Oklahoma City. We were very close during our elementary and middle school years at Westminster – I look back on that period of my life very fondly and Laura was often the reason for those happy memories. We loved to do arts and crafts together and probably annoyed our mothers with our frequent requests to go to Hobby Lobby for new supplies. However, my favorite memories with Laura involved our mutual love of the Winter Olympics. We were huge fans of figure skating and we would spend hours recounting the routines of our favorite skaters, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski. In middle school, my parents moved to a new house and before they bought furniture for the main living room, we would use the open space to practice our triple-triple combination jumps (probably more realistically our single – single combination jumps). We would spend hours perfecting our jumps and critiquing each others form. We had the best time and countless laughs over how ridiculous we were. I realize I haven’t known Laura for a very long time but the Laura I knew then was kind, passionate, smart, creative, beautiful and fun. I want to send my warmest and sincerest condolences to her family – in particular – her mother, her husband and her beautiful boy. I was lucky to have known her.

Jessica Johnson Raab

I met Laura at Westminster School in Oklahoma City. We were very close during our elementary and middle school years at Westminster – I look back on that period of my life very fondly and Laura was often the reason for those happy memories. We loved to do arts and crafts together and probably annoyed our mothers with our frequent requests to go to Hobby Lobby for new supplies. However, my favorite memories with Laura involved our mutual love of the Winter Olympics. We were huge fans of figure skating and we would spend hours recounting the routines of our favorite skaters, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski. In middle school, my parents moved to a new house and before they bought furniture for the main living room, we would use the open space to practice our triple-triple combination jumps (probably more realistically our single – single combination jumps). We would spend hours perfecting our jumps and critiquing each others form. We had the best time and countless laughs over how ridiculous we were. I realize I haven’t known Laura for a very long time but the Laura I knew then was kind, passionate, smart, creative, beautiful and fun. I want to send my warmest and sincerest condolences to her family – in particular – her mother, her husband and her beautiful boy. I was lucky to have known her.

Stuart Cohen

Dignified until the end; utterly without self pity. And always kept her sense of humor, as exemplified by a story her dad (my twin brother) told me while visiting Laura on his birthday. I asked what she had planned for him, and he replied that she told him he could do and have whatever he wanted, wisely (and not necessarily sarcastically) adding “within reason.” I got to see Laura shortly before she passed, hooked up to countless wires, tubes, bags and monitors, and I was in utter awe of her bravery and composure. I will always love, miss and respect her.

Kate Gault

I first met Laura in 6th grade at Westminster. To tell just one story about her and the memories we have together is impossible. She was one of my best friends.

We TP-ed Senorita Verstrait’s house and had Chris drive us there and back in middle school. Laura once made a joke about a lima bean in Spanish class but pronounced it like Lima the capital of Peru; we could barely control our laughter. I laughed so hard and so uncontrollably that I was asked to leave the classroom. We were total dorks, but thought we were so cool and rebellious when we snuck out of Jennifer Snider’s house in the middle of the night to walk around Nichols Hills. We smoked our first, and I think possibly last, cigarette together. We went on our first college tours together. Once at the mall when trying on swimsuits she forgot to take off a pair of bottoms that were over her pants and didn’t realize it until we were well out of the fitting room. We took my mom’s Oldsmobile out several times well before either of us were even slightly legal to drive. We made up hand motions as a dance to all kinds of NYSNC and Britney songs. We made absurdly awful home movies, A Run To Forget and Intersections, with Jennifer Snider and Laura Young.

We shared so many firsts together, and I’m so sad that she’s gone. She was a kind, funny, smart, genuine, and beautiful friend inside and out. I’ll miss her dearly.

Frederic Cohen

My wife Julie and I moved from Florida to Las Vegas in 2007, and Laura visited several times over the years. I’ll never forget her first visit, when her reaction to everything she saw — the fountains at the Bellagio, the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, the volcanoes at the Mirage — was, “It’s crazy!” She aptly described the Venetian as “Venice in a box.”
True to her careful nature, she stuck to the $1 blackjack tables for her gambling, playing a reasonable facsimile of basic strategy. She also played a little nickel video poker, but only on full-pay machines. Jay’s national convention of athletic trainers was held a couple of times in Vegas since we moved there and he brought Laura and later Maddox with him for very enjoyable family reunions.

Frederic Cohen

My 66th birthday occurred this December, during my last visit with Laura before she went to Mexico for cancer treatment. I asked her at one point what we were going to do to celebrate my birthday. Her reply: “Anything you want — within reason.”

Frederic Cohen

When Laura was a teenager I was living in Florida. One time I came to visit her and was trying to think of something to do. I came up with the idea of taking a trip to Dallas to visit the museum there dedicated to telling the story of the assassination of President Kennedy. When I proposed this to Laura, her reaction was immediate and emphatic: “You can drop me off at the mall!”

Joanne Melville

I can never forget meeting Laura when she was 11 months old. What a delightful little girl, just learning to talk and walk in her high top white shoes. She blossomed so quickly when playing with Beth and quickly caught up to her in so many ways. She began kindergarten a year early because she was so bright. She was always soft-spoken but so sure of herself. We missed seeing each other when both of our families moved but loved keeping in touch through the years. I treasure her first trip to Mexico with us when she graduated high school. Who knew it would turn into her love of the language and culture for the rest of her life and lead to her professional choice. I feel privileged to know such a wonderful person and grieve with her family the loss of a daughter, wife, and mother. She obviously loved her life, which is why she fought so hard to remain with her family. She will never leave our hearts, but we all have an angel in heaven waiting for us.

Kim Stubbs

First got to know Laura when she started dating Jay in High School, then when they got engaged they reached out to me to capture their engagement and wedding pictures. Laura’s sweet personality and her positive energy always made me want to do a 150% in making her day so special. And it was and even though it was so hot and everyone was sweating she never complained and encouraged all the wedding party to get on the party bus and stop and get out to take pictures on the way to the reception. What a trooper and later being able to capture her precious family and Maddox was the best. Many thoughts and prayers, we all will cherish the impact she had on all.

Rani Peoples

Mrs. Gallegly was my 7th grade spanish teacher. She was the only teacher that actually taught spanish well. I learned more from her than my other teachers when it came to learning a language. She was super sweet, it hurts to know that she has passed. I wish I could have visited her more in person? but it had friended her not too long ago on Facebook. I am happy she had a wonderful life, and loved her family so much. I will miss her dearly.

Mike Lemos

My 7th grade year, I was blessed to have Mrs.Gallegly as my teacher. Her fun and innovative spirit always seemed to brighten other students days nearly everyday, as well as mine! She was such an inspiration to so many students and was always supportive. She will be greatly missed!!

Kim Treece

I had the privilege of working with Laura at Sequoyah & Heartland. Laura loves her students & has the sweetest kindest spirit everyday. She was always eating healthy & loved her family dearly! She’s a great example of positivity! We will all miss her!❤️

Trace Gordon

Laura and I grew up together after she moved to OKC from Florida. Her and Chris moved into the house across the street from us and we were really close for years. We were the only two cousins in our age range, and went to the same school (for a while), summer camp, and eventually the same college. Laura was a year and 3 months older than I was, and I always thought of her as my big sister.

Here are some memories/thoughts I have with Laura….

1) In 5th grade, I switched from Westminster to Nichols Hills elementary, which had uniforms. Laura and I were both terrified I would lose my fashion sense, since all the kids dressed the same. So… Laura wrote up weekly fashion reports for me every Friday for a long time on what all the boys at Westminster were wearing, so I wouldn’t lose touch with the latest trends.

2) Laura and I idolized Bush and Alanis Morissette in around 4th-5th grade. We started a cousin band and started writing songs and rearranging existing songs. We would record them on cassettes. Our first (and only) cover was based on a TV commercial for a children’s toy – “Mr. Bucket” – that had a really catchy jingle. But we didn’t think “Mr. Bucket” was cool enough, so we changed the name to “Mr. Coolzie” and rewrote all the lyrics to something like:
“Oh Mr. Coolzie – he’s the coolest around.
Oh Mr. Coolzie – he’s the coolest in town
Oh Mr. Coolzie Mr. Coolzie Mr. Coolzie Mr. Coolzie…” – Something like that.

We also wrote several original songs, but since we were 9-10 years old, we didn’t know enough big/interesting words. So we both spent hours reading the thesaurus and discovered words like “irk” and “nemesis” that we thought sounded great. Some original songs we wrote together (and recorded – I wonder what happened to those tapes) went like this:

“Don’t you know your beginning to irk me
Everything about you is starting to hurt me
Will you ever get the poooooint? Will you ever get the point?”

“The dog, he ate my homework
I got caught in a traffic jam
The alarm clock broke and I overslept
I come up with so many excuses”

“Where has the time gone?
I’ve been dealing with your problems
Your a nemesis around
Just get outta town”

I remember more songs we wrote too… but I think that’s enough examples.

3) Laura and I became masters of swimming and treading water as kids. One summer at Camp Chaverim, when we were also around 9-10, we bet one of our counselors that we could tread water for an hour. No one believed us, and they closed the pool to everyone else to let us prove it. And we did it. The whole hour we treaded water and it was awesome to prove everyone wrong.

4) Laura and I play tons of badminton every summer as kids. We learned from our grandad Gene and our parents and aunts and uncles. We used to practice for hours on end perfecting trick shots. And we had names for our trick shots. But sometimes we would mess up on easy volleys. So we decided dark forces were at work that made us sometimes miss the birdie through no fault of our own. We called it the “Spirit of Badminton”, or SOB for short. Whenever either of us would miss the birdie/shuttlecock, we both would curse the SOB that made us miss.

It breaks my heart that I will miss Laura’s memorial. I now live in Europe, and my wife and I just had a baby less than 2 weeks ago. We also have a 5 year old and I can’t leave my wife alone with a newborn and child so soon after the birth. I will be there in spirit. Laura really was my sister and best friend throughout my childhood.

Jamie Graham

Laura was always SO kind when I taught with her at Sequoyah. You could tell she loved her job, and she was so inclusive of ALL students. I taught students with special needs and they always loved going to her Spanish class because she treated them with such love and acceptance. I will always remember her sweet, kind spirit. I loved watching her become a mother, she was a natural.

Pace Hanieh

Sweet Laura. I remember the first time I ever met Laura and you at OU/Texas way back when in college – I remember thinking how WILD Laura (Dillard/Young)s’ friends were. I thought I was wild, but Laura was this spitfire, haha. Turns out, you guys are the most calm human beings.ever. I also remember how BEAUTIFUL Laura is. From then on, we would see Laura off and on until post college. My favorite memory was when you both decided to adopt, she told us at one of our dinners and how quickly the adoption process was for you both. I felt one minute we were talking about it and the process and literally by our next dinner we had together, there was going to be a baby. We fed her all the information she needed as a first time mom, but I knew that it didn’t matter what we said, much like everything else, Laura would be this amazing mother who would just figure it out in her own way. She didn’t talk about being sick, she didn’t let it take over her life, she lived with it, but also lived her life….traveling, teaching and parenting, she did it all, and never let anything set her back. Even at our last dinner together, she still had her glass of wine in hand and didn’t let the present set her back. I loved that about her. Laura is a model of strength, courage and light to others and what I will remember most about her.

Fadi Balla

Laura always made us all smile. She could turn something that most people would find boring into something fun. She used to come cheer our indoor soccer team on and she got a lot of her friends to come along too with signs, tee shirts, and all sorts of other stuff. It was just a better time when we were lucky enough to be hanging out with her.

Matt Burkholder

In 2014, Laura, Jay, Greg Stewart, Vanessa Stewart, my wife, Hillary and I went to the Winstar Casino to see standup comedian Aziz Ansari for Jay’s 30th birthday. There were six people in one room, sprawled out all over each other. Of course, Laura went above and beyond to make Jay’s birthday special, decorating our room and having celebratory drinks before dinner. We roamed the mile long casino together, people watching, laughing and having fun before it was time to see Aziz. The show itself was great, but it was afterwards, where Laura, Hillary and Vanessa behind Laura’s encouragement, dialed over 100 rooms looking to get in touch with Aziz Ansari. She failed, miserably, and probably infuriated way too many people who were fast asleep at 2 am with a “hey …are you Aziz??” She was determined, and probably a little stubborn in her thought that she could get a hold of Aziz Ansari, only because she KNEW they would be best friends (because of course they would).

Laura was always the sweetest and silliest, and found fun in every moment. Whether it be having a game night (where she always won), watching Jay and I mess up a back yard projects, or tasting new beers at a local brewery. I will miss Laura very much, and I am so glad I have had her in my life for 20 years.

Jennifer Snider

I started at Casady in January of our freshman year, and she recognized me from my tour (where she was my tour guide) a few months before. She handed me a business card she had made with her landline phone number on it, and I thought that was the greatest thing. I immediately wanted to be her friend.

Laura was always up for anything and so much fun to be around. Our senior year of high school, she spontaneously joined me on a road trip to Mississippi to go to my cousin’s wedding. We stopped at Graceland and Jim Henson’s birthplace on the way and spent most of the trip memorizing the US presidents in order of their terms. Always the teacher, Laura came up with a song to the tunes on our Nokia cell phones to help us memorize them. I still know this song today. Laura taught me so much and always did it with patience and fun. She was so smart, and most mornings before classes, I would bring her a math problem I was having trouble with, and she could always solve and explain it to me. She also taught me to drive a stick shift (though I haven’t used that skill as much as the President song!).

Zenie McEwen

There are so many memories that come to mind when I think about Laura. Originally bonding over our love for Sophie Kinsella books, becoming running buddies for many local races, our many many many hours laying by the pool talking (obviously before we had kids and had time for that!) And then there was the Bachelor, our weekly reality TV indulgence that we could never say no to!

After having kids the same age our activities changed to many zoo trips, play dates, swimming and trick or treating!
However I think the thing I remember most and will miss most is our daily…almost hourly text messages. From new recipes, workouts, more bachelor talk, her health, kids, travel…you name it and we covered it; in very long run-on text messages! I’ll forever be grateful for those long conversations and can’t wait to have them again someday