Laurie Kiss, 54, of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, died Jan. 26, 2021, after living with cancer for many years. She is deeply loved by all who were touched by her grace. She created life’s silver linings by sharing her countless gifts. She is a shining star, a beacon of inspiration to live life fully with curiosity and joy.
Laurie is survived by partner and husband Scott; mother, Peggy, of Stoughton, Wisconsin; brothers Ken and Pat and their spouses; brother-in-law Boris Frank; nephews and nieces Matt, Jenn, Katie, and Sarah and their spouses; many aunts and uncles, “greats” in increasing numbers, and many dear cousins. She was predeceased by her father William, sister Terry, and other beloved relatives.
Laurie was a lifelong learner who shared her passion for learning by teaching. Most recently, she taught mathematics as an Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Laurie taught at Southeast High School, in Wichita, Kansas, and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While serving in the United States Peace Corps, she taught at Mwavumbo Secondary School in the Coast Province of Kenya. Each day she enjoyed the opportunity to assist students as they pursued their goals and dreams. Her answer to the question “What do you teach?” was never math, it was always “students.” It was the understanding, knowledge, and ultimate success of her students that inspired her. The breadth of her profound impact was reflected by the honor of the college flag flying half-staff.
Laurie was always up for unique challenges and adventure. In true Stoughton style, she mastered the accordion playing for three years with the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers in High School. During college she volunteered summers driving the cook truck for the Madison Scouts and dishing up three square meals a day for over 100 hungry guys. Laurie relished spending time with her nephew and nieces be it playing board games or strolling the runway in fashion shows at the Nazareth House. She enjoyed extensive travel including Central America, Europe and Africa, finding something wonderful in every place.
Laurie appreciated all sorts of music, and performed in recent years with the Lycoming College Community Orchestra. She was a volunteer for events in music and theater, and with conservation organizations including the Lycoming Audubon Society and the Mid-State Trail Association. She appreciated simple pleasures, and was as happy walking in the forest as experimenting with a new recipe at home. Laurie loved reading and being outdoors, enjoying her public library as much as the bicycle ride to get there.
To honor Laurie’s memory, take a walk, ride a bicycle, or sing aloud. Tutor a child, contribute to a scholarship fund, support the arts, volunteer at an animal rescue, grow a new plant or donate to your favorite public radio show or non-profit. Whatever you do, do it with joy, because Laurie’s goal was to live with joy – always.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Ann’s in Stoughton on Feb 13 at 11 a.m. To attend virtually, search for St. Ann Catholic Parish, Stoughton on Facebook.