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June 5, 1938 - July 12, 2023
Service Date July 21, 2023
Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home
Memorial services will be held on Friday, July 21, 2023 at 1:00 p.m., at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home followed by burial at Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.
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Laurel Ann Blakley, 85, of Rapid City, SD, passed away on July 12, 2023, peacefully at her home.
Laurel was born to George and Margaret Peterson, on June 5, 1938, on the family farm in Keldron, SD near Lemmon. She was the youngest of 8 children. She attended school in Lemmon all her life and graduated from Lemmon High School in 1956. Soon after, Laurie moved to Rapid City and attended Rapid City School for Business.
She met her first husband, George Herstein, and they married on December 20, 1957. Together, they had 4 children. They divorced in 1965.
Laurie met her second husband, Dennis Dunlap, in 1967 and married in May of that year. They had 2 children together. They divorced in 1976.
She worked a few years as a waitress and then eventually started bartending. Many people would recognize her from the Red Garter where she spent many notable years tending bar. She made many friends and memories. At home, a lot of the regulars would be considered family. Through these friends, she went on to meet her third husband, Charles Albert Blakley. He had 3 children and 5 stepchildren from a previous marriage, whom Laurie and her kids accepted lovingly. They were married 34 years.
With all being said, it can be stated confidently that Laurie was surrounded by family, friends and love her whole life. She’ll forever be in our hearts!
Laurel is survived by Loran (Carol) Herstein, Angela (Martin) Morgan, Randy Brunssen, Tim (Tammy) Herstein, Craig (Renee) Dahlke, Carla (Lester) Tenold, Sally (Larry) Garrett, Patti (Tim) Henry, Linda (Tim) Triplett, Stuart (Karen) Sinclair. Through all these blended families, there are countless grandchildren, great grandchildren and so many that knew her as Grandma Laurie, and also, her last and best love, her “baby” Rampage.
Laurel was preceded in death by both parents, all her siblings, Jim, John, Ike, Ole, Eleanor, Leona, and Margaret Loretta; 3 children, Babette Brunssen, Daniel Jay Dunlap and Georgia Ann; and also, all 3 husbands.
She will be remembered for her cooking and family gatherings – she loved all to be together!