Laurene Kay Smetek

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Laurene Kay

Laurene Kay Smetek


Laurie Smetek lost her battle with cancer on June 14, 2022.  She was diagnosed in January of 2022 and fought a hard battle for five months.

She was born to Robert and Beatrice Berka on September 4, 1956, McCord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington. She was the third of four sisters. Moving and traveling throughout the country, eventually settling in Wisconsin in 1969 when her father retired from the Air Force.

She had many accomplishments in life, but her proudest were being a mother of two and grandmother of six.  Laurie loved family.

Mother of Joe Smetek (Stephanie) and Krissy Wolf (Stan).  Our mom will always be with us and will be remembered for encouraging us to be ourselves and supporting us throughout our entire lives.  Our mom did not miss any of our events growing up and strived to be there for us as adults and for our children.  Her favorite time was when we were all together.

Loving grandmother to Deanna Wolf, Bradley Smetek, Caitlin Kattwinkel, Trenton Smetek, Everett Wolf and Alexander Wolf.  She was referred to as Texas Grandma by her grandchildren, except for Everett who calls her Grandma Texas.  She was a fun grandma and loved spending time with her grandkids.  They especially liked going to places, traveling and playing board/card games together.  Her children remember her saying “I used to let them win when they were younger, but as they got older, I would try to find ways to beat them” which made for some wildly fun times.

Although our family was split up across the country (TX, WV, WI), we all got together often.  Our mom taught us the true meaning of family, unconditional love, and was always there for us.  She was only a call away to give advice, make us laugh or just listen to us talk.  She always had a way to make you feel better.  We are grateful for the memories we have made together and especially loved our trip to Disney World in 2017.

Laurie retired in September 2021 after 39 years at United States Bowling Headquarters.  She began in the rules department at WIBC (Women’s International Bowling Congress) and moved up to a Rules Counselor and then Rules Manager.  She finished her career as a manager, working with developing the SMART Program for youth scholarship. This program allowed scholarship money to help young bowlers get a jump start on their dreams.  If you were involved in the sport of bowling, you knew Laurie Smetek.   She attended yearly conventions, worked on special projects, bi-laws, legislation and was instrumental on writing the annual rules book.  She loved working there and relocated with the company to Texas in 2008, with her good friend and co-worker Roberta Haffner.

Although Laurie only had 65 years of life, she made each one count.  Mom/Texas Grandma, Grandma Texas/sister, you will be greatly missed!  We love you!  You will stay in our hearts forever.

She will be remembered and missed by her children, grandchildren, sisters Ann Berka (Racine, WI), Vickie Strasburg (Oak Creek, WI) and Georgene (Dennis) Zeisse (Burlington, WI), nieces, nephews, great- nieces, great-nephews, family and friends who loved her very much; and also, by those whose lives she touched.

We would like to thank Zilber Family Hospice for the wonderful care they gave Laurie in her final days.

A service at Oak Grove Cemetery on the corner of County U (76th St.) and Hwy G in the Town of Raymond will be held on Laurie’s Birthday, September 4, 2022 at 11AM with a gathering to follow.

Heritage Funeral Home




  1. Liz Harrison June 16, 2022 at 10:59 am - Reply

    So blessed to be with Laurie and share good memories since she returned to Wisconsin. From when Alex came home after his birth to watching E graduate 4k.

    She fought a good fight and am inspired by her faithful, loving ways that drew family closer.
    I will miss her and continue to pray for her. I know she is watching over all of us and will laugh with Krissy, Joe and the entire family when we recall the fun in life that come from being together and loving one another always.

    God’s love heals us in times of sadness. I pray that her family knows this love today and forever. .Laurie met the Creator and now she can rest in peace.

    • Judy Santarius June 17, 2022 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Rest in peace my dear friend

  2. Lori kleszczynski June 16, 2022 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Heartfelt condolences to the entire family on the loss of a lovely lady….
    Thoughts and prayers 🙏

  3. Ann Berka June 16, 2022 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    My sister, what can I say. You share so much in life, but no matter what, always there for each other. As kids we traveled the country, back and forth from Washintington State to Wisconsin, making many memories with extended family and of course the city girls being on The farm! Moving from Western Washington to Illinois back to Eastern Washington back to Western Washington to Wisconsin to Utah, and finally settling in Wisconsin. What a journey!
    So many fond memories! Rest in peace little sister, I love you! Your memories live on in your children and grandchildren.

  4. Wally Hall June 18, 2022 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Sincere condolences to Laurie’s family and friends on the loss of a lovely lady.
    She was an unsung heroin of youth bowling.

  5. Yvonne Bennett June 18, 2022 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    I am deeply saddened by this news! I had the pleasure of working with Laurie during her WIBC/Booking Inc years in Greendale. We later reconnectef when she was the manager of SMART in Arlington, TX.

    Laurie was an amazing person, so very dedicated to bowling and all who worked in the sport.

    My deepest sympathy to all who knew & loved her.

  6. Georgene Zeisse June 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Our Mom always told us “you will never have a better friend than your sisters “ . How true those words are. It was always the four of us girls, our world will never be the same. You were loved and you will be missed , until we are together again.

  7. Brock Kowalsky June 28, 2022 at 10:23 am - Reply

    I worked with Laurie at HQ in Arlington for almost 14 years and also bowled for two or maybe even three seasons with her and Roberta those first years I was at USBC… she was already greatly missed at retirement. Even more so, now. Rest easy, friend.

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