Laura Lea Dickinson transitioned out of this life on Thursday, January 19, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. Laura was surrounded by family and loving friends of her Baldwin City community. She was 65 years old.
Laura was born July 12, 1957, to the Rev. Calvin and Mrs. Ruth Dickinson in Dallas, Texas. She moved to Kansas with her parents and brother in 1961, spending the rest of her life in Kansas. Laura graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1975, going on to Kansas State University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in horticultural therapy with a geriatric emphasis. She worked for Big Lakes Developmental Center in Manhattan during the 1980’s, then went to work for the Kansas Guardianship Program from 1990 until her death. In the latter capacity, she recruited and trained hundreds of volunteers to serve as legal guardians for those in need of help navigating the healthcare system, managing personal finances, and other vital needs. Laura was a tenacious defender of the dignity and rights of those served in the program, insisting that staff at skilled nursing facilities, State hospitals, and other long-term care facilities fulfill their agencies’ missions and goals with competency and respect.
Laura moved to Baldwin City in 1998 with longtime companion Elvyn Jones. She immersed herself in the community, serving on the Baldwin City Tree Board, and as a member and chairperson of the Lumberyard Arts Center Board for many years. Laura was a member of the Baldwin First United Methodist Church, where she served on the Church Council and as a member and chair of the Missions Committee. For many years she assumed a leadership role in the Community Food Pantry and the church's Vacation Bible School.
Laura was a knowledgeable and dedicated gardener, who spent hours nurturing flower beds at her and her parents' homes, readily sharing her horticultural know-how with all who passed by. With her mother Ruth, she was an avid fan of the Kansas City Royals baseball and Chiefs football teams.
She is survived by her mother Ruth, of Baldwin City; her brother David Dickinson and spouse Sahja Cove, of Olympia, Washington; her niece Anya Dickinson-Cove, of Los Angeles, California; her nephew Caleb Dickinson-Cove, of Seattle, Washington, and her longtime companion Elvyn Jones, of Baldwin City.
Memorial services will be held at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 4th at 10:00 AM, followed by a Celebration of Life open reception at the Lumberyard Arts Center in Baldwin from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations in Laura’s name can be made to the Community Food Pantry at First United Methodist Church or to the Lumberyard Arts Center sent c/o Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006