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Laura Emma (Warren) Reed, formerly of Normal, died of a heart attack on January 10, 2018, while living in a care facility in Chandler, Arizona.

Laura was born April 12, 1942, the second of four children, in Parkin, Arkansas, to Wise D. Warren, Sr., and Addie Mae Warren. She grew up in Gary, Indiana, graduating valedictorian of Gary Roosevelt High School in 1960. She married her high school sweetheart, Thomas Reed, Jr., in 1964, in Gary, Indiana, and moved with him across the world as he dutifully served in the United States Air Force. She was an honor student at Indiana University Northwest, and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Technology, the first African American woman to do so.

Laura and Thomas had two children: a daughter, Joyce Lynnette, while stationed in Germany, and a son, Thomas, III, while stationed in Japan. Upon Thomas' retirement from the Air Force in 1980, the family relocated to Normal, where Laura enjoyed raising her children and attending their various artistic and athletic events. For many years, she and Tom were members of the U-High Booster Club.

Laura professed her belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and was baptized at an early age, at Calvary Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana. She was deeply entrenched in community and church activities. Her devotion to Jesus Christ was evident in her love of scripture and her constant service. After becoming a member of Mt. Moriah Christian Church in Bloomington, in 2001, she and Thomas became leaders of the C.A.R.E. ministry, the 5-M Club, and worked to support adult literacy. In addition, Laura served in leadership roles within the local mental health alliance, and was an organizer of resident activities at her assisted living facility. She was loved by all who knew her.

Laura is survived by her husband of nearly 54 years, Thomas Reed, Jr. of Phoenix, AZ; her daughter, Joyce Tate (Demetrious) of Chandler, AZ; Thomas Reed, III (Lisa) of South Jordan, UT; five grandchildren: Noah Reed, Kaleb Reed, Jessica Reed, Faith Reed, and Emma Reed; and two brothers, Andrew L. Warren, Sr. (Miriam) of Gary, IN, and Wise D. Warren, Jr. (Virginia) of San Antonio, TX.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents and by her sister, Mary L. Harris.

A "homegoing celebration" will be held for Laura on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at 11:00 AM, at East Lawn Funeral Home located at 1102 Airport Rd., Bloomington, IL. There will be a visitation prior to the service beginning at 9:00 AM. The burial and grave dedication will occur immediately following the service at East Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery at the same address.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks family and friends to contribute to their fundraiser at https://www.youcaring.com/laurareed-1072641.