Laurie Walker Labarthe EAST MONTPELIER — Laurie Walker Labarthe passed away peacefully in her sleep on Aug. 17, 2019, in East Montpelier. She was born Robert Walker Labarthe on Aug. 7, 1941, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the second son of Mary (Walker) and Jules Labarthe. He graduated from Aspinall High School in Pittsburgh in 1959, then attended Cornel University in Ithaca, New York. Robert served in the Army from 1964-67, as a chaplain’s assistant in Germany. Robert married Susan Margaret Schifter in Ithaca, New York, on May 25, 1968. They had two sons, Christopher Robert Labarthe in 1970 and Gregory Stephan Labarthe in 1972. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in hotel management in 1971, then worked as a dining hall manager at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; and Norwich University in Northfield. Robert and Susan divorced in October 1987. Laurie realized her lifelong dream in 1988 when she transitioned from Robert into Laurie. Making this change allowed her to become a much more open, caring person and a more attentive, involved community member. She served on the U-32 School Board and the Worcester Fast Squad. She was very active in the Christ Church kitchen, and worked during the 1990s with her dear friend, Kathy Meninger, running Some Like It Hot! catering business. Laurie and Kathy also ran the Worcester Community Kitchen for many years, where they would serve up to 100 people (or even 200 on Thanksgiving!) each Wednesday on a pay-as-you-can model. For the last 20 years or so, she worked as a courier, ready at the ring of the phone to drive to the farthest reaches of eastern Canada to deliver an essential factory part or legal document. Laurie was an avid reader and traveler. One of her favorite activities was to take the slow way home from her deliveries, wandering along new roads through unknown forests looking at fresh vistas. She was always kind, thoughtful and generous, funny with a droll sense of humor and a sharp wit. Long after she stopped cooking professionally, Laurie would cook food to take to friends who were unable to cook for themselves, due to illness or disability. Laurie was a valued member of the Christ Episcopal Church community, which was her rock. Like all of us in her immediate family, she was a cat person, always enjoying the steady companionship and positive ions of a cat in her lap. After cardiac surgery and a series of small strokes in 2016, Laurie spent a few months in medical rehabilitation, and worked very hard to reach her goal of driving herself back to her own home upon discharge. She went back to her courier job, too. She was a strong and determined person, very independent and sure of what she wanted to do with her life. Laurie is survived by her son, Chris Labarthe, partner Renee Holland and grandson Jean-Paul Labarthe, of San Francisco, CA; son Greg Labarthe and wife Gretchen Saries, of Worcester; ex-wife Susan Labarthe, of Montpelier; brother Jay Labarthe and wife Carroll, of Verona, PA, and their children Jules Labarthe and Leslie Labarthe Coyle; and cherished friends Kathy and Michael Meninger, of Worcester. There will be a memorial service for Laurie on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier, with a reception to follow in the rectory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Christ Church Capital Campaign.

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