Lasting Memories

Laurie Nienkerk
Jan. 27, 1950-March 20, 2013
Woodside, California

Submitted by Emma Johnson

Lorraine (Johnson) Nienkerk, a Woodside resident and active member of the community, died on March 20, 2013, of complications from Lupus syndrome.

Laurie was the second of six children born to Roger and Anna (Dixon) Johnson. Born in Madison, South Dakota, Laurie was raised in Pipestone, Minnesota, where she met her husband of 42 years, Larry Nienkerk. The couple met in the sixth grade, dated in college, and were married in a double ceremony with her elder sister, Barbara, in 1971.

Laurie and Larry moved to the Bay Area in 1972. Laurie worked for many years as an X-ray technician, both at Mills Hospital and Menlo Medical Clinic.

While helping her husband build his fruit import business, she lovingly raised two children. Laurie was an incredible mother who developed strong relationships with many of her children’s friends and their families. Her two grandsons, Joey and Sam Johnson, brought her endless joy.

Laurie was a past president and active member of the Woodside Hills Garden Club and served for several years on the Mid-Peninsula High School Board of Trustees. She was an avid gardener, hiker, and nature lover who will be remembered by her many friends for her incredibly generous spirit.

Laurie is survived by her devoted husband Larry, her children Emmy (Johnson) and Michael, grandsons Joey and Sam Johnson, her mother Anna, son-in-law Aaron Johnson, and daughter-in-law Kellie Nienkerk. She is also survived by brothers John and Todd Johnson, and sisters Barbara Schaeffer, Susan Carstens, and JoAnn Sabas. She leaves behind many adored nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and countless friends.

A “Remembrance of Life” service will be held at 3:30 on April 6 at Skylawn Memorial Chapel in San Mateo, with a visitation beginning at 2:30. There will be a reception following the service.

In her memory, the family appreciates donations to be made to Mid-Peninsula High School in Menlo Park.

From Mary Willis
June 13, 2013

She was my BFF and not a day goes by that I don't think about her and how much Larry and family miss her so so very much. She would never want us all to be so sad but we just aren't ready Laurie to move forward without you...we will try as you would want us to...

From Brenda Ramler
April 15, 2013

I only meet Laurie once at the kids wedding but I was a stranger from Treadwell side of the family and she made me feel so welcome in her home. Such a lovely, kind person and I know she will be missed. Brenda Ramler

From Heidi Kagarakis
April 6, 2013

Laurie and I worked together with a great group of women at Menlo Clinic Radiology. She was gracious , lovely and fun. We enjoyed watching her children grow up . It has been years since we spoke but her smile and laugh can still be heard in my memories. Love to all her family. She loved you so much.

From Carla DeGhetto Carlston
April 5, 2013

Dear Larry, Just having lost my husband I know the pain you are going through. Mt thoughts are with you and your family. Carla

From Brenda Martinson
April 2, 2013

My sister Shari married Laurie's brother, Todd Johnson 12 years ago. Laurie comes from a big family with many of them living in the Minnetonka, MN area. Our family is quite small in comparison, so my sister was a little overwhelmed at first by "The Johnsons". As Todd's big sister, Laurie made sure that Shari felt welcome and a part of their extended family. Thank you Laurie for being such a generous and caring person. You will be greatly missed in MN!

From Cynthia Wilcox
April 2, 2013

I remember when Jonathan and I first moved to Woodside Hills so long ago, one of the first couples we got to know was Laurie and Larry. Whenever we met, they both are always smiling and laughing, joking and happily talking to us. They could turn an occasional encounter into an happy and celebrated event. Laurie, we will surely miss your happy smiles. Cynthia

From Ioana Lazar
March 29, 2013

I've met Laurie and her wonderfull family for a short day visiting LA and I was impress for her great hosts skills and super good pies. Gave me the insight of true American family...love it. I enjoy very much meeting her and I'm deepen sadden ill not have another opportunity to meet again. All our hearts are with the family .

From Rachel Marcouiller
March 27, 2013

I have tried to think of a way to say goodbye and still remember the funny, amazing woman my Aunt Laurie was. It is hard to laugh at how she made me love Sixteen Candles and then realize she is gone. It is unreal and so very sad. She was a generous, kind, accepting woman who is loved and missed by so many people. I love you Laurie and will always miss you.