Eulogy for Laurie Susan White

This is the eulogy that I wrote for my friend Laurie.    I don’t love public speaking and in the end, I chickened out.  At the time, I did send it to Laurie’s parents.  I am sharing it here on my blog with you in honor of my old friend’s birthday, April 4’th.  And because I know Laurie Susan would have really enjoyed and been supportive of my blog.

Hello, I’m Fredde Duke.  Laurie called me her B.F.  Best Friend.  I first laid eyes on Laurie in High School, the year was 1970 and she and her then B.F., Carrie Fisher had just gotten these disastrous haircuts.  They were profoundly ashamed, and actually spent some days not even bothering to come to school to save face.  Those haircuts were in fact, probably the very first shags.  Since both Carrie and Laurie couldn’t bear to be “seen”, they went out and bought these very sort of Ali MacGraw-Love Story knit hats to cover their heads and I thought they were just the most stunning, stylish girls, so I just had to get to know them.

the infamous shag

I went out to breakfast with them one school morning at Nibblers.  They were only 14 years old and already ditching school.  I was impressed.  I myself hadn’t starting doing this until at least 15.  I was a senior and our paths didn’t cross again for some years.

I had the “happening” pad on the beach.  Laurie Sue (what she liked to be called) would often come to visit.  Sometimes she would be gone for hours, she had wandered down the road to Ricci’s (Martin) and she would usually reappear.  But, not always.


What we really ended up bonding over was the most important thing in Laurie Sue’s life and that was the love she had for her parents.  We both had friends and animals and boyfriends and eventually I had kids, but the person I loved the most was my dad (besides my kids), and she loved her parents Adele and Jerry.  We would talk endlessly over the years about the fear.  What would it be like to lose our parents?  We would invariably end up working ourselves into floods of tears.  Just the thought of the loss.  These conversations took place a lot!  And then, I really lost my parents.  It was devastating and Laurie was a constant support.  She never got tired of asking me questions about their last moments.  She was obsessed.  She needed to know everything.

from left, bottom, Gina, Ricci, Todd, Laurie, back row, Debby and Donna

Okay, I’ll stop with this dark subject.  This is so unexpected and not fair.  What I am really saying is that Laurie Sue had this enthusiasm for all subjects.  She would ask endless amounts of questions about my kids.  About Michael, my husband.  Sometimes the enthusiasm exhausted me.  I would be drained from answering, but she wanted to go on listening for more hours.

Lately we just laughed at ourselves for becoming “Old Jews”.

The thing I think we all remember about Laurie are her eternally generous terms of endearment.  She always ended an e-mail or conversations with I love you.  Or she might call you Baby-Cakes.  But, always, always ending with the words I love you.

I am so not the lovey dovey, hugging, type.  I’m not sure I ever told Laurie Sue that I loved her back.  I know that she knew I did and that I didn’t need to say the words out loud.  I would like very much to take that opportunity today and say in front of all of you—I love you Laurie Susan White.

Laurie went hard core hiking on this red rock…I trailed behind!!!

Laurie lived just steps away from Owens Market, on the corner of Pico and Roxbury.  She would often pick herself up a steak from the amazing meat department.  Pretty sure she knew the guys name.  I don’t remember his name but that I would often pick up these amazing lamb chops when I lived near there.  And, I am a real fan of this small market.  Laurie Sue would call me and tell me about the dinner she would make herself of a baked potato and a perfectly cooked steak.

I went on a vacation once with Laurie to Sedona, Arizona and though I have no recollection if we ate here or not, in honor of that trip and Laurie’s love of steak, I would like to recommend the Cowboy Club where they serve everything from Buffalo Burgers to Cactus Fries.  They serve Green Chile Rattlesnake Meatballs.  Lots of steaks to choose from in honor of Laurie.

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21 Responses to “Eulogy for Laurie Susan White”

  1. Swamiji says:

    Hi Fredde, I am Swamiji, one of Laurie’s brothers. I just arrived back in India, and my brothers forwarded a link to your blog.

    Thanks so much for remembering Laurie so sweetly. We all have so many fond memories. All of us feel privileged to have known her, and I know that you will join with us and all of her family and friends in wishing her the happiest of Birthdays, and the greatest blessings of Peace and Joy.

    Thanks for your blog.


  2. Steven White says:

    Freddie, I am Laurie Susan oldest brother. I would have replied to your blog sooner, but I couldn’t figure out how to send you an email.

    All I can say is thank you for a beautiful tribute to our sister. We all loved her very much.

    I sent a copy of your eulogy to our mother and she as we were completely moved by your words.

    Thanks again and may God Bless us all and grant us peace ….


  3. Steven White says:

    Freddie, I am Laurie Susan oldest brother. I would have replied to your blog sooner, but I couldn’t figure out how to send you an email.

    All I can say is thank you for a beautiful tribute to our sister. We all loved her very much.

    I sent a copy of your eulogy to our mother and she as we were completely moved by your words.

    Thanks again and may God Bless us all and grant us peace ….


  4. jennifer dudley arbaugh says:

    Ralph Bellamy to his wife “Alice, listen closely because I am only going to say this once, I love you Alice.” Laurie heard your song … lyrics not necessary.

    Jenn Still in Cincinnati

  5. Kim says:

    Thank you Fredde for capturing what was most memorable about Laurie. She was the sweetest, most generous soul.

  6. Christel Chesney says:

    I can’t think of the words that would do this piece justice. Everyone should have a friend like Laurie and you. Hugs.

  7. nicole mintz says:

    Dear Freddy, i don}t know if you remember me.. i was called Nikki then and also, Laurie´s BF. i can´t tell you how touched and relieved i am to see ,something! hear something! about one of the people i loved most in this world. I had the awful experience of calling and calling Laurie and no answer. when i arrrived to the US a few years back , i was obsessed with trying to find her…worried as usual about her… and her, not answering the phone. I called kimmie who i hadn´t spoken to in years and she told me Laurie had died a year ago and continue to ask me about a recent trip to thailand… i couldn´t speak.. i have lived a deep hurt that NoOne tried to find me, to tell me, and a year had passed… Kimmie couldn´t even tell me about the funeral “cause it happened so long ago”. I couldn´t call her dear parents i also loved..because i was in shock and toooo late… i would only bring back their pain.. and finally looking at Facebook and googling, i find something… thank you from the bottom of my heart… i still miss her.. i could say so much more but..
    please let me know if you recieve this. One of the hardest part about losing Laurie was not being able to share the grief with others. i have tried to find her parents…are they still with us? and her brothers and finally found them here on your blog.. all the best to you… thanks and thanks

  8. Pauli says:

    Unbelievable! You must be so happy that your words touched and helped to heal and comfort Laurie’s family and Nikki. I don’t remember Laurie but now I sort of do and you have made me understand how important it is to express our love to others. Great piece!

  9. Barbara Dudley says:

    Beautiful Fredde…Just Beautiful…

  10. johnny ruocco says:

    Very well done.
    It is ironic with all the things going on in life,I just the other day reflected
    on my friend Steven’s Sister Laurie….I remember first meeting her at
    Steven’s house on Balboa Island at a party.I was probably the only
    Italian/American at the party and felt kinda out of place BUT Laurie
    spent time with me laughing and telling jokes and made me feel like
    part of the family…I was really impressed with her energy and warmth.

    I really miss that kid!………Johnny Ruocco

  11. Carol Ward Dudley says:

    So very impressive – your tribute to your friend – and Jennifer’s quote is so great – loss is getting so very difficult – and painful – Love you C

  12. Laura Plotkin says:

    So very sweet.

  13. Michael Williams says:

    Fredde, my name is Mike , i spoke to you on the phone briefly a few years ago . I met this earth angel on the set of “Hoosiers” we became friends so fast . I moved to La and was her roomie .. as she called me .. she always called me Mischa , till this day i miss this kind wonderful soul .. she was a dear kind generous loving earth angel .. today is the day Carrie passed away .. i picture them both in heaven looking down on us old jews and laughing as we are thinking of them .. i just know in my heart this thought is shared by you , i hope your well and again you captured the soul of this wonderful being I still miss so much !! I love you Laurie Sue ! your Mischa…

  14. Nancy Siegel Kulak says:

    First time that I have seen this. I only recently found out that Laurie Sue had died I still don’t know anything about what happened. I first met Laurie in either kindergarten or 1st grade at Hawthorne I adored her , we had lots of play dates but then I was switched to West Hollywood Elementary and didn’t see her again until 9th grade at Beverly High. I enjoyed catching up with her and all my other Hawthorne and El Rodeo friends. I’m truly saddened to hear that both my childhood friends Laurie Sue and Carrie such a beautiful and vital friends from my past left this place so young. I wish all those that knew and loved them peace.

  15. Karen Keating says:

    Oh Fredde. Once again I am profoundly touched by your writing! How we mourn and grieve says so much. I tell as many people as I can on a daily basis that I love them because I want them to know. One of my close friends from High School committed suicide two years ago and I cant begin to explain how much it hurts even though I haven’t seen her in thirty years. Thanks for the tears and the laughter. xo

  16. Cherie Effron says:

    Fredde, This blog is Loving, Brilliant, as It captures your brain,your heart and soul being in this writing tribute to your precious friend Laurie Sue. I am so sorry for your loss… I still mourn Carrie’s and Migel’s passing, these beautiful people left us too soon.. Life is so much more rewarding with precious friends like Laurie Sue.. Thanks for sharing this remembrance in such kindness.. And May All Rest in Peace… Having to say good bye to more and more people as I age it never becomes easier to say good bye.. Just grateful for having known them at all.. Love, Cherie

  17. Linda says:

    Lovely tribute to a special friend … XOXO

  18. Karen Keating says:

    Wow. What a beautiful tribute. I’m crying for your loss. I love you Fredde.xo❤️

  19. Quichi Minujin says:

    You are a wonderful person, and I love you.

  20. Quichi Minujin says:

    You are so special, that’s why you are so loved.

  21. Quichi Minujin says:

    All the accolades I want to say about you, it tells me I’ve already said. You are fantastic ❤️

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