Laurie entered this world on June 10, 1954 in Geneva, IL and peacefully passed into the next world on May 14, 2023 in Wickenburg, AZ.
She was the youngest of Richard and Margaret Shewalter’s four children. Laurie moved to Arizona when she was 17 and spent 51 wonderful years as a pillar of the Wickenburg community. In addition to working at Rancho de los Caballeros and as a home and pet caretaker, she volunteered at the Wickenburg Humane Society and Arizona Trail Association.
Laurie is predeceased by her parents and brother, Dale. She is survived by her significant other, William Smith, her brother and sister-in-law, Steve & Margot Shewalter, her sister Linda Biehl, many nieces and nephews, and her faithful dog, Scout.
Laurie left Illinois but her strong Midwestern values never left her. She will always be remembered for her love of God, family, and country. She was a friend to all and someone who could be called upon if anyone - or any animal - needed help. Laurie was humble, kind, trustworthy and caring.
The Arizona Trail Association was formed in 1994 to carry forward the dream of Laurie’s brother, Dale Shewalter, to build a trail across the entire state of Arizona. When Dale passed away in 2010, Laurie devoted herself to honoring his legacy and remained involved with the ATA as a member, donor, and supporter.
Laurie was instrumental in funding the production and installation of beautiful stone benches in Flagstaff's Buffalo Park, Mormon Lake Village, and Tusayan near the Grand Canyon so weary hikers could rest and reflect. Every year, Laurie purchased Arizona Trail merchandise and memberships to share with family and friends. She was proud that the trail, which became a Congressionally designated National Scenic Trail in 2009, was part of the Shewalter Family legacy. Laurie ensured the roots of the Arizona Trail could be traced back to her parents who encouraged outdoor exploration and connections with nature from an early age.
She understood the transformative power of nature, and how a walk in the woods, the desert or canyon-lands could have a profound impact on an individual, their family, and community. Laurie understood that trails connect more than just desserts, mountains and forests - they connect history and people. Dale and Laurie’s legacy is deeply embedded within every stone between Mexico and Utah.
Laurie is a beautiful soul with a pure heart and kind, loving spirit. She’s a genuinely wonderful person whose impact will forever be treasured and never forgotten. She truly left the world a better place.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arizona Trail Association, 738 N. 5th Avenue, Suite 201, Tucson, AZ 85705 www.aztrail.org
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Laurie’s Life at 4pm Friday, May 26, 2023 at Wickenburg Funeral Home, 187 N Adams St, Wickenburg, AZ.