Newburyport — Laura Mackie of Newburyport died unexpectedly on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. She was the daughter of Edmond Doucette, now of Florida, and the late Evelyn Doucette. Laura was born in Beverly, and raised in Salem. She was the eldest of five siblings.
Although cut short, her life was full and she touched the lives of so many people. Even before graduating with honors at Fitchburg State College with a teaching degree in special education, Laura joined a convent in Maryland and then later served her country as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Motivated by her love for children, she started a program for special needs kids at a Girl Scout camp and also ran a preschool out of her home for nine years. Based on her desire to care for and nurture people, Laura pursued her dream of becoming a nurse. She graduated valedictorian of the nursing program at Northern Essex Community College and devoted years to caring for people as a hospice, geriatric and psychiatric nurse, with her true calling and passion being hospice nursing.
Laura comforted countless patients and families at a time of grief but she herself was full of life. She had a creative and inquisitive mind that made her an avid reader, talented quilter and fueled her desire to travel. Recently, she and her husband, Dave, took a memorable trip to Italy. Laura took pleasure in feeling the sun on her face, going out shopping, having coffee with dear friends and spending time with her grandchildren.
Family was the most important thing in her life. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. Laura is survived by her husband of 39 years, David Mackie of Newburyport; her son, Darren Mackie of Amesbury; her daughter and son-in-law, Amy-Joy and Steven Raccagni of Connecticut; her daughter, Elizabeth Raleigh and son-in-law, Nikos Raleigh, of Minnesota; her sisters, Christine Hill and husband, Jim, of Beverly; Julie McDevitt and husband, Mike, of Woburn; Cheryl Winter and husband, Dave, of Salem; her brother, Joseph Doucette and wife, Kathleen, of Londonderry, N.H.; and her closest friend, Nancy Kidd of West Newbury. Laura is also survived by many nieces and nephews whom she adored and her two dearly loved grandchildren, Hayden Raccagni and Paige Raleigh.
Laura will be missed tremendously by family and friends and her spirit will live on.
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours at the Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green St., Newburyport, will be Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist Church, Pleasant Street, Newburyport, followed by interment in Belleville Cemetery, Newburyport. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of North Shore and Greater Boston, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923, with gifts in memory of Laura directed specifically to The Kaplan Family Hospice House.