Laura Ann Lee ‘Lori’ Harrington

Laura “Lori” Ann Lee was born in Flandreau, SD on Oct. 30, 1945 to Harold Milton and Mary Varnum Lee. She died of colon cancer on Sept. 19, 2010 while a resident of the Black Hills Regional Hospice House in Rapid City.

She attended school through fifth grade in Colman, SD, before the family moved to Rapid City where she graduated from Rapid City High School. Lori completed a beautician course, attended Casper College and graduated from LPN school. She was a Licensed Practical Nurse for six years until she quit to pursue her dream of being a full-time artist. She worked through the Dahl Fine Arts Center taking many of the classes they offered. Visiting artists from all over the world were her teachers along with the art section of Rapid City Public Library and thousands of hours of practice!

From childhood drawing in the sand at Lake Madison, Lori’s passion has always been her art work. She has been described in multiple articles as a “Western Artist” but she was so much more. She won many prizes for her portraits of not only horses, but people, too. She has done pastels, billboards, book illustrations, taught “How to Draw Animals” at the library, volunteered as an art teacher for 10 years at the Interior School, created hundreds of paper mache horses, painted funny tee shirts, rocks and even the windbreak. Throughout all of her art she has exhibited an attention for fine detail and color tempered by her quirky sense of humor!

Lori met Jonathan “Jon” Harrington while they were still in high school. She married the bull riding rodeo cowboy Aug. 17, 1966. Jon funded their first years with his rodeo winnings. Quoting Lori, “Much to my delight we’ve lived on the ranch he built our entire marriage. Our daughter Kathy was born – oh what fun we had. Kathy married rancher Wayne Fortune and they blessed us with the world’s two most wonderful grandchildren! I spent many happy hours playing with them.”

Lori is survived by her husband Jon, daughter Kathy (Wayne) Fortune, grandchildren Rolly and Elsie Fortune, brother Dan (Mary Lou) Lee, sister Diana Lee, nieces Pamela (Greg) Kneip, Dolores (Sean) Michael, Jennifer (Dusty) Kinchen, nephew Erik (Jill) Biegler, mother-in-law Lois Harrington, sisters-in-law Mary Ann Hlavka, Connie (Ed) Humble, brothers-in-law LeRoy (Juanita) Harrington, Dan Harrington, nieces Debbie Morris, Patty (Kevin) Williams, Tammy (Jason) Bender, Toni (Shawn) Hill, Mckenzie Harrington, Jennifer (Chris) Bolin, nephews Pete (Virginia) Hlavka, Clint Humble, Casey Humble, Joe Harrington, Levi Harrington, Frank Harrington, Dalton Harrington, Jay Harrington, their families and her special Lee and Varnum cousins. She is also survived by her many faithful friends.

Family and friends share a piece of her legacy in the paintings they treasure. Lori said, “The months since my diagnosis have been the best of my life connecting with Jonny, my family and friends.”

Her Memorial Service was held Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 at 2 p.m. at Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Service, Serenity Springs Chapel of Tranquility with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. Lori has donated her body to the University of South Dakota Medical School. Burial service will be at Elk Vale Cemetery at a later date.

Friends may sign her online guest register and offer condolences at The staff and volunteers at hospice gave Lori wonderful care for 10 months at home and four months in Hospice House. She and all who love her will be forever grateful.

Please consider the following in lieu of flowers: Black Hills Regional Hospice House in Rapid City or Rapid City Public Library. And finally Lori has requested that you “get a colonoscopy!”