Beverly A. Laughna
MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, MI – Beverly Arline (Rogers) Laughna, a retired physical education teacher, mentor to aspiring teachers, and loving mother, grandmother and wife, died at home on September 7, 2018, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 71.
Bev was born on January 21, 1947, in Trenton, Michigan, located in the Lower Peninsula. In 1965 she moved to Marquette, located in the Upper Peninsula, to attend Northern Michigan University (NMU). There she developed a lifelong interest and love for outdoor recreation, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education (1969) and a Master of Education (1983).
While at NMU she met Bob Laughna, who would become her college sweetheart and husband of 45 years. He was on the basketball team and she was on the field hockey team. He courted her with cream puffs and sarcastic jokes; she, with kindness and contagious laughter.
Bev became involved in community service during her early years at NMU and it continued for over 40 years. She served on the ‘N’ Club Board, Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Alpha Xi Delta Non-Profit Building Corporation and the Northern Center for Lifelong Learning Board. She was also involved with current students, serving as a mentor in the Student Leader Fellowship Program.
Following college, she taught physical education for over 30 years at Fitzgerald High School, Northern Michigan University, St. Michael’s Elementary and Father Marquette Elementary.
Throughout her life, Bev was the recipient of numerous awards, including the following: Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Educator of the Year (1997) and Honor for Service (2002); Northern Michigan University Alumni Service (1991); Michigan Ambassador for Tourism (1987); and the Superiorland Ski Club Lifetime Achievement Award (2012). She was also a longtime member and volunteer with the North County Trail Association.
These accolades provide a small glimpse into the incredible life she led, but Bev’s proudest accomplishments included: raising two daughters and teaching them, along with numerous Marquette children, to love the water through tiny-tot swim classes; securing a grant to provide snowshoes for children and teachers at Father Marquette Elementary School; and authoring a master’s thesis that shared her love of the outdoors through a cross-country ski map of the Upper Peninsula. She published the map for 30 years before handing it off to Lake Superior Press.
Bev embodied what it meant to love life to the fullest. She was a best friend to her two daughters, Jenny Molnar and Kaye-Lani Laughna, and to her faithful husband, Bob. She is also survived by her son-in-law, Andy Molnar; her spunky grandchildren, Lucy and Jack Molnar; her two brothers, Chuck and Tom Rogers; and many loving family members and friends.
Her body and mind are in a better place, but her soul will be with us forever. Thank you to those who stayed with her, and us, over the past 10 years while she lived with Alzheimer’s disease.
A celebration of life service will be held at St. Michael Catholic Church, 401 W. Kaye Avenue, Marquette, Michigan, on Thursday, September 27 at 11:00AM; visitation will begin at 10:00AM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Maple Lane Ski Center, P.O. Box 83, Skandia, Michigan 49855 or Lake Superior Hospice, 914 W. Baraga Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com