Austin, Laureen Anne  (1957 – 2014)

Of Upton, passed away peacefully in her home on March 8, 2014. She was the beloved wife of, and is survived by, John F. Austin Jr., of Upton. She is also survived by her loving aunt, Val Avery, and her cousin Jenna Strange, husband Michael Strange, and their three children; Jake, Isabella and Jayden Strange.


Laureen was an amazing woman. She was deeply spiritual and wise beyond her years. She was also an extraordinary artist, winning many awards for her often ground-breaking work. Indeed, Laureen used her art to express her spirituality and rather than put words in her mouth, she can explain it best –


“As far back as I can recall, my spiritual self has always been one solid and constant part of my being.  My definition of my self is never separate from my spiritual side, or self, but simply a woven part that makes my self.


I carry my inner guidance to rightful action each day.  Mindful and responsible of how I move about the world.  I have always expressed my thoughts and sensitivities to all those I converse with, deepening the surface conversations.


My quest has been how do I show others that spirituality resides in all and all that there is?


One way to answer my inner question is to bring awareness to others through my art work.  Using various styles and subjects, my paintings help connect people to their basic self.  Through the use of color and contents the viewer is left to their own experience and inner feelings.  This ‘resting period’ helps to reconnect the fundamental self to the spiritual self.  The beauty in the world is one of the greatest spiritual gifts for all of us to share in.”


I can only add that these weren’t just words to Laureen. This was how she lived her life and I, as her husband, was deeply honored to have been her loving companion for these many years.


Finally, Laureen was a private person and in keeping with her wishes there will be no public service. Memorial gifts may be made to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) on-line, or via mail at: MSPCA-Angell Headquarters, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA  02130. People in other states may wish to donate to their own state’s society.

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9 Responses to OBITUARY – LAUREEN

  1. Thank you for sharing this, John.

  2. This is very beautiful..

  3. patchesmany says:

    Thanks for sharing with us John. Love the picture of Laureen.

  4. Janet Miles says:

    Beautiful, both the woman and the words. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. nowandzenn says:

    Thank you all – I appreciate all of your comments and your caring words.

  6. Oh my. How sorry I am to check in on you today and discover this post. My heart is heavy for you. It is so lovely that you two kindred souls found one another, but also so very sad that you had such a short time together, all in all. Thank you for sharing this loving tribute.

  7. nowandzenn says:

    Thank you, Sarah. Once we got the news in mid-December that the cancer had returned and was aggressive, we knew we’d lost the battle. Laureen was heroically brave on all fronts – such a strong, incredible woman. I miss her so deeply, but she wanted me to go on and I shall honor her wishes in that regards as best I can, after a time.

  8. Jenna Strange says:

    Your words describe my cousin beautifully. Thank you. My family and I were beyond blessed to have known and been loved by Laureen. I miss her.

    • nowandzenn says:

      Thanks Jenna. I cannot begin to describe how empty our house feels now without her. I am loathe to touch anything in our house, but I know that one day I must. For now, I am content to be in the midst of what we created, and know that it was all good. Looking forward to seeing all of you in a few weeks!

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