August 22, 1949 – May 1, 2023
Laura was born on August 22, 1949, in Saskatoon to Raymond & Virginia Lemieux, spent her childhood in Ottawa, and moved to Edmonton at the age of 12. Laura was the eldest sibling of Rene, Virginia, Michèle, Raymond, Andrée, and Janet. Her siblings’ earliest memories of Laura include her prodigious talent as a student, studying Latin, painting, and drawing.
Laura earned her BSc in 1970 and her PhD in Biochemistry in 1978 at the University of Alberta. By 1978 Laura was married with three children and credited her mentor Bill Paranchych, her husband Ed, and her parents (both PhDs themselves) for their support to finish her PhD.
Laura spent her entire career at the University of Alberta becoming a professor of Microbiology in 1990, Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in 2003 and Professor Emeritus in 2010. Laura’s contributions to the fields of plasmid, genetics, pilus, bacterial conjugation and molecular biology endure. Her work is frequently cited, and she inspired other women to pursue careers in science.
Laura met Ed Frost at a toga party in Jasper in 1967. Laura and Ed married in 1970 and were married for 49 years until Ed’s passing in 2019. They had three children: Frances, Kenneth (Patti-Kris) and Aimée (Peter), and two grandchildren, Harry, and Hannah.
Laura was a keen naturalist. Nearly every weekend was spent hiking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains with her family, colleagues and long-time hiking buddy Jamie Higham. Laura and Ed retired to Canmore in 2010 where she enjoyed birdwatching, identifying alpine flowers, and solving crossword puzzles. Laura proved her love of weeding by volunteering her green thumbs at the Barracks & Hospital gardens in Canmore. Laura and Jamie reunited late in Laura’s life and spent several happy months together in Victoria before Laura’s illness of glioblastoma surfaced.
Laura will be remembered for sitting on her brother Ray, her victory at a pie-eating contest, enjoying a nip of scotch with any willing accomplice, and forcing her grandchildren on many scenic walks. She attracted people with her ability to find fun in most everything she did.
A memorial celebration will be held on May 24, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at Flores & Pine, (254028 Bearspaw Rd., Calgary, AB). If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Laura’s name may be made to the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation http://www.burrowingowl.com/ or the Agapé Hospice http://agapehospice.ca/ where Laura was lovingly cared for in the last six months of her life. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed at www.MHFH.com.