Laura Anne Thorne, 44, of Bellefonte, died Jan. 18, surrounded by family, after a lengthy illness.
Laura was born July 8, 1978, in St. Mary's, Pa., to Richard and Susan (Brem) Thorne of State College. She was a 1996 graduate of Elk County Christian High School and a 2000 graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Laura was a special education teacher for more than 20 years in the Bald Eagle Area, Penns Valley, and State College school districts. Her students meant the world to her, and she helped them attend the Special Olympics, Kent's Fest, and other extracurricular activities. She was a secretary and board member for the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society and volunteered with Buddy Walk and 321 Dance.
Laura loved watching sports, particularly Penn State football, and movies, reading, cooking, campfires, and her Chihuahua, Lucy. Her proudest accomplishment was becoming a mother to her daughter, Skylar, the light of her life.
In addition to her daughter and her parents, Laura is survived by her paternal grandmother, Joan Thorne of St. Mary's; a brother, Peter (Jamie) Thorne of St. Mary's; a sister, Mary Anne (Jeffrey) Rice of Bellefonte; nieces Alexandra Fleming of St. Mary's and Kellie Koontz of St. Mary's; nephews David Fleming of Elderton and Harold Rice of Bellefonte; and a great-niece, Bella Gardner of St. Mary's. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Katherine and Ambrose Brem of Kersey, Pa.; and her paternal grandfather, Edward Thorne of St. Mary's.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, January 28 at the Howard Christian Church, 367 Walnut St., Howard PA 16841. A reception for family and friends will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Laura's honor may be made to the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society, 210 W. Hamilton Ave. State College, PA 16801, Howard Christian Church, 367 Walnut St., Howard PA 16841, or to UPMC Family Hospice, 310 Fisk St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201.