Condolence & Memory Journal


I grew up with Lauri in Sibley and we have been in contact and shared many special times throughout our lives.
We went off to college together and were room mates in Brookings, South Dakota. Our paths went different ways but we always tried to get together if we could. Once when visiting relatives in Iowa we made plans to meet. She cancelled and I was so disappointed, but understood when she said she was in the hospital having her appendix out.
Lauri attended my wedding with Susan, another friend from Sibley.
When Lauri took her oral boards in San Francisco, she and Kirk came to visit in Chico. I was impressed how quickly she had regained her calm after that stressful time.
When Lauri moved to Seattle I visited her there. We were able to meet Lauri and Kirk for wine weekends in the Dundee Valley of Oregon. My daughters remember Lauri as generous and genuine. I remember her as my friend.
The last time we got together was Memorial Day weekend last year. We shared food, wine, and many memories. What I remember most about the weekend is how much we laughed together.
Lauri was a special person whose life long friendship I will always appreciate and cherish. And thank you, Kirk, for making her happy.

Posted by Debby Hall - Chico, CA - Friend   February 19, 2016

Besides modeling and teaching superlative and vigilant patient care for our UIHC patients, she and I shared an anesthesia department office and also lodging expenses at many conferences for continuing medical education. She demonstrated genuine concern for the improved safety of vulnerable patients and that is a huge part of her legacy within our University of Iowa Health Care. I cherish being an invited guest to her wedding & also staying with Lauri & Kirk during another medical meeting while they lived in Seattle. I know she was proud of her extended family and truly enjoyed planning and sharing some of their vacations, especially Ko Olina, Oahu for Kirk's and her brother's January birthdays. Both Lauri and Kirk were inspiring with their travel photography and deep sea diving experiences. She was generous, encouraging and supportive during my family's challenges with health and other problems. I was the fortunate recipient of a few unique artisan created hearts which will now be symbolic of great courage during her diagnosis and treatment. May we all continue to be grateful for the time we had with her.

Posted by Jeanette Harrington - Iowa City, IA - Friend   February 14, 2016

Lauri was first my attending when I was a resident and fellow. She had become a colleague, friend, mentor, and much more. She was always willing to help me, always ready to listen, always ready to share ideas. She will be greatly missed by many at work, but especially by the pediatric anesthesia staff and sedation staff at the University of Iowa. May God grant her peace and may God's healing be upon those who miss her.

Posted by Katherine Keech - Coralville, IA - Coworker   February 14, 2016

I was so saddened to hear that Lauri had passed away. I attended pharmacy school with Lauri at South Dakota State University and while we weren't close friends we were all part of the graduating class of 1979 Pharmacy Family and you tend to form a sort of bond with each other. Lauri was always a kind, cheerful, studious student that took very good notes! I am glad I got to see her at our 2014 Pharmacy reunion but didn't get to visit as long as I would have liked. May God's Love be with Kirk and the Helmers family and sustain all of you as you go forward knowing that Lauri is now in His care. Rest in Peace Lauri

Posted by Randy Armbruster - Sleepy Eye, MN - Classmate   February 13, 2016

My heart breaks for your loss. Know that we are thinking of you and that Lauri will be missed greatly! She was a great colleague.

Posted by Ann Smith - Iowa City, IA   February 13, 2016

My memory of Lauri, is her cheerfulness and always willing to listen. I remember the many times I walked into her office to chat (her door was always open) and never once was she too busy to spare a moment. She will be missed and I pray that the Lord will comfort her family and loved ones in this difficult time. "Death is swallowed up in victory" "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (I corinth 15:55)

Posted by Unyime Ituk - Iowa City, IA - Coworker   February 12, 2016

I am very sorry to hear that Lauri has passed. I will always be grateful to her, for helping prepare me for a career in anesthesia and a life helping others. I am fortunate to have trained under her as a resident. May she rest in peace.

Posted by John Wallace-Talifarro - MI - Student   February 12, 2016

I will remember Lauri as a ceaselessly cheerful, upbeat colleague who was always willing to take the time to answer my clinical questions about the care of pediatric patients, who helped teach me new techniques, and who was incredibly supportive of her co-workers' and trainees' projects and interests. She did some wonderful things to improve processes at UIHC, and seemed especially focused on issues related to patient safety & communication among various team members. Her initiatives to improve handoff and communication in the peri-operative period have made an incredibly positive impact on inter-team relationships in the hospital. One of my fond memories of Lauri is of her laughing and smiling as she carried a child to surgery, with the child's arms wrapped around her neck, snuggling in tight, clearly feeling safe and comforted.

Posted by Kirke Rogers - Iowa City, IA - Coworker   February 12, 2016

Lauri and I roomed together on Woolf Avenue for four years during her residency and fellowship. I enjoyed getting to know her. She was fun to be around, had a good sense of humor and was kind and generous. We kept in touch after she moved out and married Kirk, having dinner not only before they left for Seattle and sadly enough, for the last time after they returned, but we managed to get together one summer when I visited the Pacific Northwest.

My condolences to Kirk and all of Lauri's family. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and beyond.

Posted by Lori Price - North Liberty, IA - Friend   February 11, 2016

Sorry to hear about Lauri's passing. Lauri helped me get through Pharmacy School- I always got her notes from certain classes. I remember a lot of good times at State. It was great to see her at our Reunion in Brookings. May God help you through this difficult time.
Mark Dady

Posted by Markk Dady - Mobridgte, SD - Classmate   February 11, 2016

Remembering all the good times we have shared with Lauri and her family. Our prayers are with all of you

Posted by Irv & Judy Block - Ashton, IA - Friend   February 10, 2016

I worked with Lauri during my residency and she was fiery and fun to work with. I'm so sorry to hear she is gone. Too soon.

Posted by Kira Fraser - Colorado Springs, CO   February 10, 2016

I fondly remember working with Laurie while I was a medical student and resident at Iowa from 1999-2004. We had the opportunity to reconnect at the ASA meeting a few years ago. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Posted by Jeff Anderegg - Rice Lake, WI   February 10, 2016

Our thoughts and prayers are with Laurie's family.

Posted by Dave & Kathy Brown - Hayward, WI   February 10, 2016

Our deepest sympathy to the family. Our thoughts & prayers are with you in the days ahead.

Posted by Steve & Connie Schwarzkopf - Sibley, IA - Friend   February 10, 2016

Lauri was a wonderful colleague who cared about children and believed in providing the best care possible. I had the pleasure of working with her on a project that she cared deeply about while I was at Iowa.

Posted by Sameer Kamath MD - Durham, NC - Coworker   February 10, 2016


You were always such a keen and enthusiastic anesthesiologist, a respected teacher and a great supportive co-worker. I'm sorry to hear of your passing. My deepest condolences to your husband, Kirk and family.

Posted by Karen Wong & Jim Shutt - Seattle, WA   February 10, 2016

Lauri was a wonderful colleague. She was sincerely interested in patient safety and quality care. She and I worked more closely this fall on education items and I will truly miss her input and expertise. My sympathies to her family. She will be missed at UIHC.

Clark J. Obr, M.D.

Posted by Clark J. Obr M.D. - Coralvlle, IA - Coworker   February 09, 2016

I knew Lauri as a medical student, a resident and a valued colleague. She was a skilled anesthesiologist and uncompromising in the care she provided to all the children she came in contact with. She had a big heart, a quick sense of humor, and I was fortunate to be counted among her many friends. I will miss her greatly.

Posted by Bob Forbes - Iowa City, IA - Friend   February 09, 2016

I worked with Lauri in the MOR and in ASC and was saddened to recently hear of her passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Posted by Nancy Vincent - IA   February 09, 2016

I send my sincere condolences during this very difficult time. May you all find comfort from the words found at 1 Thessalonians 4:14.

Posted by A friend   February 09, 2016

Lauri and I were among the few classmates in medical school who lived on the east side of the Iowa River in Iowa City. We spent hours walking back and forth across that river in all kinds of weather de-stressing and supporting each other while getting some much needed fresh air and exercise. I did have a chance to visit Lauri and Kirk in Seattle in 2011 and had a wonderful time. Dave and I will miss her.

Posted by Cathy Swanson - Iowa City, IA - Friend   February 09, 2016

This is terribly sad news. My sincerest condolences to Kirk and all of Lauri's family.

Posted by Sean Flack - Seattle, WA   February 09, 2016

So sorry for your loss...worked with Lauri in ASC. Had no idea that she had been ill. Prayers and thought are with you and your family! She was a very strong woman and was an excellent advocate for her patient's. Condolences.

Posted by Janice Barnes - Riverside, IA   February 09, 2016


Dr. Helmers took such good care of the children see saw, when I recovered them in the clinic, I knew they had been in the best of hands. I enjoyed working with Lauri and our brief (busy) conversations waiting for kiddos to awaken after procedures. May the memories of her joy and love hold you and your family in her arms. Prayers and thoughts to you all during this most difficult time, Lauri will be missed by many.

Posted by Sharon Olson-Comer - Lone Tree, IA - Coworker   February 09, 2016

Laurie was one of my senior residents at the University of Iowa. She was a great teacher and physician.

Posted by Sally Fortner - Albuquerque, NM - Friend   February 09, 2016

I was a friend and coworker of Lauri's in Seattle and treasured our times outside the operating room together. We had great fun exploring new restaurants and I was honored that she shared such deep thoughts and ideas about life with me. She truly cared about her patients and made a difference in their care. Her midwestern anesthesia values were a source of comfort to me and despite her contributions in Seattle she remained a Iowan through and through. I send my deepest condolences to Kirk and the rest of her family. Nicole Pelly

Posted by Nicole Pelly - Seattle, WA - Coworker   February 08, 2016

Laurie and I went to medical school together. I lost track of her but saw her again last summer when she helped with the anesthesia for my grandson to have a procedure. She was so friendly, such a reassuring presence. I was very thankful and hoped to see her again. I was shocked to hear she passed away. I will always remember her fondly.

Posted by Adelaide Gurwell - Iowa City, IA - Classmate   February 08, 2016


I worked with Lauri for several years in Seattle. She was an excellent pediatric anesthesiologist and I valued her greatly as a colleague. Only a few of us knew that she already had cancer at the time that she left Seattle. We had a farewell dinner together at Pair restaurant. Lauri referred to her close Seattle friends as her "Seattle charm bracelet". Most years I would see her at the SPA meeting and we would catch up. I will miss seeing her this year. I am glad to have known her. Sending condolences to Kirk and to her family and friends.

Posted by Sally Rampersad - Seattle, WA - Coworker   February 08, 2016


Lauri and I were classmates and graduated together in Sibley, Iowa. I remember her as being sweet, smiling and very bright. Several of us were lucky to have seen her last summer at a class reunion. My condolences to Kirk and her family in this difficult loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Robbi Moody Stevens - Hampton, IA - Classmate   February 08, 2016

I am so sorry to hear of Lauri's death. There is so much I appreciated about her. She was always so very real. Our conversations were deep and honest...never any pretense. I will always treasure the times we had together, whether it was a walk around Green Lake, a coffee date or a dinner together. She will be deeply missed.

Posted by Johanna Longacre - Seattle, WA - Friend   February 08, 2016

I was sad to hear Dr. Helmers' passing. She helped us in the endoscopy room with children's procedures. She always had a great sense of responsibility for her job and great work ethics. I will miss her. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Aliye Uc - Coralville, IA - Coworker   February 08, 2016

My condolences to Lauri's family. She was one of the first people I met in residency and she represented Iowa well in welcoming me from Colorado. I am sorry that our paths didn't cross more often.

Posted by Bob Hada - West Des Moines, IA - Classmate   February 08, 2016

Cathy and I have many fond memories from medical school, department gatherings, and other times we got together outside of work. I will miss our hallway chats. Kirk and family, Lauri will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Dave Swanson - Iowa Ctiy, IA - Friend   February 08, 2016

Lauri and I were classmates in medical school. We had fun and good times back then, and I enjoyed working with her in subsequent years when she was the anesthesiologist for my pediatric patients. I knew the kids were in good hands with her at the head of the table and we communicated and worked well together. I'm going to really miss her and this is a sad loss for the UIHC.

Posted by Chris Cooper - Iowa City, IA - Coworker   February 08, 2016

So very sorry to hear about Lauri's passing. She was a wonderful, caring colleague in Seattle. May she rest in peace.

Posted by Denise Joffe - Seattle, WA - Friend   February 08, 2016

I knew Lauri as a co- worker for many years. She was always very nice to me and will be missed by many at the hospital. May the great memories with her help you and your family through this very sad time in your lives.
Chris Mentz
Peds Cath Lab

Posted by Chris Mentz - Iowa City, IA - Coworker   February 08, 2016

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Helmers family. I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by Mike Anderson - North Liberty, IA - Coworker   February 08, 2016

When I moved to Seattle, Lauri was one the kindest and most supportive people I met. She was a joy to be around and I'm proud to have known her. Will always model my care of patients around her example. I will always miss her.

phil morgan

Posted by Phil Morgan - Seattle, WA - Coworker   February 08, 2016