Margaret Laurent Obituary (2021) – Greensboro, NC

Laurent, Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson Laurent passed away peacefully on August 5th after enjoying 88 years of a very fulfilling life.

Margaret Maria Johnson was born in New Iberia, LA to Erland Johnson and Katherine Bates Johnson. She graduated from the Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Coteau, LA and attended LSU, where she met her future husband, Harold James Laurent. They were married on October 8, 1952 in New Iberia. She was an army woman for several years, during which time her first two children were born. She moved to Baltimore, MD in 1955 after Harold’s discharge from the Army, where five more children were added to the family.

Margaret loved children and began volunteering in church teaching Sunday school classes for young children. In 1971, Harold’s job took the family to Newport News, VA, and Margaret continued her service for the Church, starting a children’s liturgy program in her new church. After the end of the Vietnam War, she tirelessly devoted herself to the refugee resettlement program, bringing families into their own homes, securing them housing and helping them to settle down in the community. Realizing that a young refugee from Cambodia needed their help, she and Harold took her into their family and loved her as a daughter. Margaret volunteered at the Riverside Regional Convalescent Center in Newport News for 30 years, visiting residents, praying with them, and playing music for the memory patients. She launched a family-free resident gift program during the holidays that included hundreds of gifts for residents of multiple nursing homes, as well as community services and community groups in the area. She worked as a substitute teacher at primary schools for several years. An enthusiastic seamstress, she sewed dresses for special occasions for family and friends. After her children grew up, she shared her love of sewing while working part-time in the local singer shop. When Harold’s job took them to France for two years, they traveled extensively in Europe and Margaret was able to visit her father’s family in Sweden for the first time. These stories of selfless giving could go on and on, but suffice it to say that Margaret’s life defined the words “unconditional love” and she shared that love with her family and friends, and especially with her soulmate Harold.

Margaret leaves behind her 69-year-old loving husband Harold, sister Kate, and children Harold Jr., Carl (Jennie), Ray (Callie), Steve (Jeanne), Anne Shea (Steve), Richard (Francine), Brian and Sovanara Glass (Carl) as well as 21 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

The family will be greeted with friends at a memorial mass, presided over by Father Jim Curran, in honor of Margaret from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Newport News, Virginia, where she Lived follows 50 years before moving to Greensboro, NC.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the AuthoraCare Collective at https://www.authoracare.org/give/donate-online in memory of Margaret or a charity of your choice.

Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel supports the Laurent family. You can share fond memories and condolences at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.

Published by Greensboro News & Record on August 11, 2021.

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