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1931 Laurel 2022

Laurel Braswell-Means

June 7, 1931 — August 1, 2022

 Laurel Braswell-Means, beloved by family and friends, died peacefully on Monday, August 1, 2022, after a brief and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Laurel was born June 7, 1931, in Chicago, Illinois. Her family moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where she lived until she graduated from high school.

Laurel was an accomplished academic and author. As a young woman, she received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Classics, both from the University of Arkansas. She then went on to receive a Fulbright post-graduate fellowship for the University of Louvain in Belgium, and earned a Gradue en philosophie et lettres there. She later received an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Toronto. She was a lecturer in English at Victoria College at the University of Toronto until she received a fellowship for graduate research at Oxford. From 1970 until she retired in 1996, Laurel was a professor of English medieval language, literature, and linguistics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Laurel loved to travel. She travelled across Europe during her studies there, and many years later she and her second husband Gordon Means, a political scientist, travelled together throughout South-East Asia, China, and Thailand in order to do research and to teach. After their retirement from full-time teaching, Laurel and Gordon travelled across the U.S. with a tiny Scamp trailer in order visit with family and friends and to enjoy many national parks and historical sights.

In 1996 Laurel and Gordon moved to Minnesota, and for many years she continued to work and to teach part-time. She also worked on a number of lengthy historical research and translation projects, published several historical fiction novels and a collection of short stories, and did free-lance editorial work. Laurel and Gordon were very active long-time members of Discovery United Methodist Church in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Laurel cared deeply for her family and friends, and gave so much of herself to others.

Laurel is predeceased by her parents Dwight and Dorothy Nichols, her sister Judith Huffman, and her husband Gordon Means. She is survived by her children Adrian, Julia (Elliott), and Eric, her grandson Inigo, her sisters-in-law Virginia Rowe and Charlotte Means, her nieces Laurel Boothe and Kathie Jones, and many cousins.

Many thanks for the wonderful and compassionate care provided by the team from Hospice of Lake Cumberland.

A private service will be held on August 12, 2022. Laurel will then be interred at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laurel Braswell-Means, please visit our flower store.


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