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Laura Marmolejo was a generous, open-hearted woman, who would have done anything for anybody. Laura understood the importance of family, and she dedicated her life to raising and supporting her children and grandchildren. She liked to jokingly say “You kids will miss me when I’m gone!”, and she was only too right. Laura’s giving nature, kind heart, and deep and abiding love for others will live on in the hearts and memories of all those whose lives she touched.

Laura was born on August 13, 1949, to proud parents Jose and Carmen (Quiroz) Marmolejo. She was the third of five children, and grew up with siblings Hilda, Carmen, Rosa, and Jose. The Marmolejo family lived on Milwaukee’s East Side, where Jose earned a living at the Gallun Tannery. Even as a little girl, Laura always took pride in her appearance, and loved dressing up. The family liked to tell a story about Laura taking a dollar from her mother, which she denied repeatedly. Denial became useless, however, when her mother told her to take off her sweater and the dollar fell out – Laura wasn’t really a “good criminal”! For vacations, Laura made many happy memories traveling to Mexico by train with her family.

The years flew by, and before she knew it Laura had grown into a beautiful young lady. She attended Riverside High School, where she received excellent grades all four years. As a teenager, Laura was admittedly “boy crazy.” Her first love was Jim Dahl, who sadly died in combat in Vietnam.

Laura graduated from Riverside High and attended Milwaukee Area Technical College later in life. She found work in the service industry, and would work as a waitress and bartender for the next twenty years. Later, she would go on to work as an office manager.

Laura was the proud mother of three children: Lisa, Peter, and Olivia. Laura was a wonderful mother, who dedicated herself to supporting and protecting her family. The years went by, and Laura’s family grew to include three granddaughters: Kayleen, Alyssa, and Giana. Laura’s life was full, but she made room for some four-legged family members as well: a cat, Tigger, and a dog, Rosco.

As her children grew older, Laura continued to enjoy a special relationship with them. Although their relationship was always based on love and mutual respect, the kids liked to tease Laura about her endearing idiosyncrasies. They gave her several affectionate nicknames, which she graciously accepted. She was the “Cake Monster,” due to her love of any kind of cake, and “The Bag Lady,” due to her habit of taking bags wherever she went (“just in case” was her usual reason). Laura liked to be prepared – in addition to her bags, she also held a temporary driver’s license for over 40 years. Although she never applied for a permanent driver’s license, she would renew the temporary one every year, “just in case.”

Her third nickname was “The Klepto,” which requires a little more explanation. The bags that she carried around were always open at the tops, and occasionally Laura would think that something had fallen out. At this point, she would pick up everything in the vicinity and place it in one of her bags – regardless of whether or not the item belonged to her. Family and friends knew that if something went missing, Laura was the lady to call!

In recent years, Laura’s greatest joy was spending time with her granddaughters. She looked forward to family get-togethers, which included trips to Mexico and Las Vegas, Christmas celebrations, and, Laura’s favorite, the Wisconsin State Fair held in August every year. She was a faithful born-again Christian, and loved singing at services and participating in Bible study groups. In her free time, Laura enjoyed going to the Senior Center, where she played cards with her friends, and shopping with her children, grandchildren, and other family members. On shopping trips, Laura would often say things like “Can we make one more stop?” or “I just need 15 more minutes.” At home, Laura could often be spotted knitting in front of an episode of “Law and Order” or a scary movie.

Generous, protective, and kind-hearted, Laura was a loving mother, a devoted grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her beloved family and many friends.

Laura Marmolejo died on October 8, 2012, at the age of 63. Her family includes her children, Lisa (Mark) Pecora, Peter (Donna) Chappy, and Olivia Marmolejo; her grandchildren, Kayleen, Alyssa, and Giana; her siblings, Hilda (Ron) Steller, Carmen (the late Don) Hoyne, Rosa (Dennis) Verkuilen, and Jose (Hiedy) Marmolejo; and several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Family and friends will gather at Wisconsin Memorial Park – Chapel of the Chimes, 13235 W. Capitol Dr., on Friday, Oct 12, from 11 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 12 noon. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family are greatly appreciated. Please visit Laura’s personal memory page at, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.

Past Comments

Margie Sisk

I remember the first time I met Laura and thinking “what a nice lady”… Funny, how at that time, I didn’t know how important that meeting would become to our family, especially to my mom and to my son. My mom gained a friend in Laura and my son gained a great great friend… Laura’s kids, Lisa and Peter became two more grandkids to add to mom’s count.. Mom was always grateful she came to know Laura.. But they now can once again be friends in eternity….

Lisa Marmolejo Pecora

This is from Tia Carmen: I remembered that Al Green was her favorite singer. Am picturing her doing the Electric Slide – going the wrong way & slower then anyone else – but always in front of the group.

Debbie Zulka

I was lucky to get to know Laura at a very young age thru my friendship with Lisa – she always has and always will hold a special place in my heart! You will be missed!

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