Sara Burke Laughlin

October 1, 2021


Sara Burke Laughlin, 69, passed away peacefully at home in Providence, RI, on October 1st, 2021, surrounded by family. 

Sara was the daughter of sculptor Ruth F. Laughlin and noted anthropologist William S. Laughlin. Born in Spokane, WA, Sara was raised in Madison, WI, spending much of her time in exotic locales from an isolated camp in Idaho to islands in Alaska and even Copenhagen, Denmark.

She eventually settled on Quaddick Lake in Thompson, CT, where she worked tirelessly to support her community. To each role in her life—from biology teacher, to WIC employee, to archeologist, to gestalt life coach, to grant writer, to mother—Sara brought kindness, commitment and compassion.

A lover of string figures, cooking shows and endless notetaking, Sara deeply valued her friends and her family and always made time for them.

Throughout her 15 years with amyloidosis, Sara was unwavering in her positivity—inspiring all around her to be more present. 

Predeceased by her parents and sister, Leslie Laughlin, Sara is survived by her eldest son and his wife, Jonathan and Stephanie Garrison of Portland, OR, and her younger son and his wife, Christopher and Hannah Garrison of Providence, RI. Her legacy lives on through grandchildren Ian, 15, son of Jonathan and his former wife Heather Garrison, and the children of Christopher and Hannah, Camilla, 11, and Isaac, 8, who will miss RaRa dearly.

The family will hold private services. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Thompson Together, 988 Quaddick Town Farm Road, Thompson, CT 06277.



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