Laura Marie Lee

February 10, 1956 - June 06, 2024


Obituary For Laura Marie Lee

Laura (Lauri) Marie Lee, age 68, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and beacon of the Northside Madison community, sadly left us on June 6, 2024, after living a life of service and kindness. She was born to Richard and Betty Harlan on February 10, 1956, in Richland Center, WI. After graduating from Riverdale High School in 1974, Lauri moved to Madison, WI. There, she earned her associate's degree, fell in love over a cup of coffee, and married her husband, Gary Lee. Together, they built a beautiful life, which included two daughters, Melissa and Megan, and three grandchildren, Logan, Kinsley, and Madison.

Lauri was predeceased by her parents, Richard and Betty Harlan, and her brother, Charles Harlan. She also leaves behind brothers, Tom Harlan of New Hampshire, David Harlan of San Francisco, Linda Post (David) of Muscoda, WI, Martha Anderson (Wayne) of Webster, WI, and sister-in-law Bonnie Harlan of Baraboo, WI, along with countless friends who felt her warmth and generosity.

She embodied the best of qualities: resilience, strength of spirit, creativity, joy, and an unending generosity that could be seen in her care for her entire family, friends, community, and countless others.

Her Christian faith was at the center of her life. Lauri and Gary have been active in their church, Door Creek Church, for over 30 years. Her faith was often put into action, helping coordinate city-wide women's events such as the "Women's Day Away" for several years. She led and participated in countless women's bible studies, retreats, workshops, and mentorship programs with her church over the years.

Lauri cherished her family and enjoyed everything from sharing a cup of tea to traveling across the country and worldwide to Seoul, S. Korea, and Provance, France, with them over the years. She was very creative, making her mark on everything she loved. Lauri showcased her creativity and style in her home, garden, hobbies, and professional life. Lauri's gift of gardening was not just a hobby but a testament to her love for nature. She served as president of the Herb Society of Madison for several years. In that role, she helped Olbrich Gardens in Madison, WI, design and install their herb gardens. She taught herb classes both at the Gardens and MATC. Gary and Lauri's home garden was featured on 'The Wisconsin Gardener' on PBS. All are living testaments to her passion and creativity in gardening.

In the early 1990s, Lauri started her small business, Communications Concepts, with a close colleague and eventually took it over independently. Over the years, the business has evolved from offering desktop publishing, event planning, newsletter publications, newspaper writing, ad sales, and editing. Recently, she focused on assisting local small businesses in the Madison Public Market, the FEED Kitchens Planning Committee, and the Advisory Board and championing the FEED Kitchen businesses. She tirelessly devoted time to the small businesses of the Madison Northside, served as the secretary and president of the Northside Business Association, Northside Economic Development Coalition (chair), Northside News, served as former Board Chair of the Northside Planning Council, and served on the Dane Buy Local Foundation Board. She was involved with business mentoring on the Northside of Madison, where she wrote many grants that directly benefited the Northside businesses. Lauri also mentored children at an elementary school on the north side, helping them learn to read.

Her departure comes as a great shock and a deep wound, and it is gravely felt by her entire family and countless others who loved her deeply in her vast network of community and church. She will be remembered with love for her creativity, thoughtfulness, and love for her family and community.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at Door Creek Church - Sprecher Road Campus, 6602 Dominion Drive, Madison. A visitation will be held at the church from 12:30 p.m. until the service.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:


27 Jun


12:30 PM - 02:00 PM

Door Creek Church - Sprecher Road Campus 6602 Dominion Drive Madison, WI 53718 Get Directions »
27 Jun

Memorial Service

02:00 PM

Door Creek Church - Sprecher Road Campus 6602 Dominion Drive Madison, WI 53718 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


  • June 10, 2024

    I didn't know Laura personally, but saw how engaged she was with the Northside and always admired her for that. My condolences for your loss.

  • June 10, 2024

    I partnered with Lauri on items for ads with the Northside News. She was always amazing to work with and she had so much passion on helping businesses.

  • June 10, 2024

    Lauri was a bright light among us. I enjoyed working with her in her many capacities associated with the Northside Planning Council and Northside News. Sending sympathy, peace and light to her family. Dave Benforado/MGE

  • June 09, 2024

    So sorry to see the loss of your wife May your memories comfort you Denny Zimmermann


  • Peace & Serenity Dishgarden

    Dave Benforado sent Peace & Serenity Dishgarden for Laura Marie Lee - June 11, 2024

    To Lauri's Family -- Lauri was a bright light amongst us. She will be missed and remembered by many. With deep sympathy, Madison Gas and Electric Company

Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.

what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

Madison North East

2418 N. Sherman Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
Tel: 608-249-8257

Madison West

5701 Odana Road
Madison, WI 53719
Tel: 608-274-1000


220 S. Enterprise Drive
Verona, WI 53593
Tel: 608-845-6625

DeForest / Windsor

6924 Lake Road
DeForest, WI 53532
Tel: 608-846-4250