Laura Jean Masten Stevens, 84, passed away on April 22, 2021, from natural causes due to old age. She was born in Coeur d’Alene on April 5, 1937, to Wesley and Beulah (Stewart) Masten. Laura completed her school years, graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1955. She then went onto Deaconess Hospital Nursing school in Spokane, Washington, where she graduated as a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1958. On August 20, 1957, she married Derwood Larry Stevens in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Larry had volunteered for service in the Army shortly after their marriage and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska while Laura completed her nurses training. After she graduated, she joined him there, began her nursing career, as well as starting their family by welcoming their first-born Loralee.
After his tour of duty ended in Alaska, they were able to return to North Idaho for a short time until Larry was stationed in Tacoma, Washington, where they were joined by their second daughter Lynette. After his time in the service ended, Laura and Larry returned to North Idaho where she continued to build her career and their family. Another daughter, Linda was born, before finally welcoming two sons, Loren Shane (adopted in 1968 at 6-weeks-old) as well as Leon one year later.
Returning to Coeur d’Alene, Laura worked on and off part-time at what was then Coeur d’Alene General Hospital, as well as for various Doctors in the area (Dr. E.R.W. Fox, Dr. D. Theron Knight, and Dr. C.E. Thompson). She then worked for several years (1964 – 1968) as a public health nurse (Panhandle Health Department) traveling through much of northern Idaho, before beginning a rewarding career as the Clinical Supervisor in the Emergency Room at the then Kootenai Memorial Hospital from 1970 – 1983. After attempting to “retire” she was persuaded to work again for the hospital part-time while also assisting the Health Department on a part-time basis with a grant program until July of 1984. Her part-time work that she had been doing for renamed Kootenai Medical Center (KMC) after her “retirement” from the Emergency Room continued until it turned into full-time when she became the Clinical Supervisor in the Short Stay Unit (1984 – 2001). She again attempted to “retire” but the call of nursing brought her back to assist at what was then known as the North Idaho Cancer Center (2001 – 2004) until she finally did retire from nursing, after a career spanning forty-six years! Laura remained in the Coeur d’Alene/Spokane area until May 2020 when she was moved to a memory care facility in Nampa to be closer to family there.
Much of Laura’s life was dedicated to service, both as a career and through her church. She spent many years serving in various callings in the different congregations she resided in, including service with the Young Single Adults, and especially enjoyed her time serving with the young children, teaching them the songs about the Savior and being known as Sister Music. She also kept busy after retiring by helping with humanitarian efforts (sewing blankets/quilts for newborns in hospitals, and pillowcases and activity bags for children in hospitals and foster care, etc.) organized by the women’s group in her congregation.
Laura is survived by her five children: Loralee Haarr of Rathdrum, Lynette Hall (Rick) of Spokane, WA, Linda of Nampa, Loren Shane of Spokane and Leon (Becki) of Tucson, AZ. She is also survived by her brother, John (Ruth) Masten of Hayden, and Sister Betty (Carvel) Whiting of Sandy, UT. Additionally, Laura has enjoyed being surrounded by all 17 of her grandchildren and growing number of great-grandchildren (currently numbered at 30). She was preceded in death by her spouse, D. Larry on January 7, 2017, her parents and foster daughter, Lauren Red Dog.
Funeral services for Laura will be held at 10:00am, Saturday, May, 1, 2021, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Hayden Stake Center, 2293 W. Hanley Ave., with a family viewing the night before in Coeur d’Alene, at English Funeral Chapel, 1133 N. 4th Street, from 6:00 – 7:00pm. For those attending please adhere to COVID protocols by social distancing and wearing a mask.
In lieu of flowers, Laura herself requested any donations in her name, be made to: Union Gospel Mission for Women and Children, 196 W. Haycraft Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 Or, online: www.uniongospelmission.org.
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