Laura Jean Thournir passed away suddenly and peacefully the evening of Sunday, March 1, 2020. She had spent a sunny afternoon at Lake Del Valle with her son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Emily Thournir, and her two grand-daughters, Emma and Mia, four of her favorite people in the world.
Laura was born on Jan. 28, 1953, in Virginia, Minnesota, to Hartley and Lois Halunen, before the family headed west to California, ultimately in Livermore. She graduated from Livermore High School in 1971, going on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts at California State University, Hayward (now California State University, East Bay).
She had a passion for art, teaching, travel, preparing and enjoying food, dancing, yoga, and goats. Laura had careers in interior design and speech and reading therapy. She also taught art at Granada High School in Livermore for 23 years, retiring in 2019.
She loved encouraging young artists, and often said that she had the job of her dreams. She guided her Advanced Placement art class in painting the murals that can be seen on Livermore bus shelters. It pleased her greatly when former students would give a shout out to “Ms. T.” She also painted the signal box at the corner of Railroad and Livermore avenues that features her favorite teaching prompt, a pair of red, white and blue cowgirl boots.
She is survived by her partner, Jeff Jewett; her mother, Lois Halunen; her brother, Roger Halunen; her former husband, Jim Thournir; her sons, Tyler and Thomas (Emily) Thournir); and her grand-daughters, Mia Wilson and Emma Thournir.