Laura Straight


Laura Straight, 60, of Wayne, died Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Wayne.

Services will be held Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wayne. The Rev. Nick Baker will officiate. Memorial visitation with the family present will be held Friday, June 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wayne. Burial will be at a later date in Greenwood Cemetery in Wayne.

Memorials may be directed to the Straight family special causes important to Laura.

Arrangements are with Hasemann Funeral Home of Wayne.

Laura Lynne (Blenderman) Straight was the first of five children born to Ted and Judy Blenderman. She was born in Sioux City Iowa on Sept. 22, 1960. Laura spent her first two years in Wayne, as her father finished his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State, and then her family moved to Las Vegas then later to Sioux City where she completed her elementary years. In 1971, Laura’s family moved back to Wayne where she lived the majority of her life. She attended District 59, a one-room school house, for three years before attending and graduating from Wayne High School where she could be found playing in the band, cheerleading or performing on the stage. Laura pursued her degree at Wayne State College where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with an endorsement in special education. Later during her teaching career, she received a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College.

On June 6, 1981 Laura married her high-school sweetheart, Rick Straight and they welcomed their daughter, Katie Lynne Straight, in 1984 and their son, Kyle Straight, in 1987. Laura loved being a mother and creating a home for her family. Some of her most treasured moments were the everyday experiences of being a mom, such as taking her kids to practice and watching them play sports. She embraced all the opportunities being a mom gave her to participate in her children's lives. That love and passion for children extended into her work life as she taught special education before transitioning into her role as kindergarten teacher at Winside Public Schools, a position that brought her great joy.

Laura pursued a wide range of interests during her life. She was an active member in the Wayne Community Theatre, directing and performing in many plays and musicals. Some of the hobbies Laura enjoyed included home decorating and interior design, cooking and trying new recipes, planning and taking road trips, all of which gave her chances to help others find the joy in everyday life. She looked forward to gardening and planting beautiful flowers each year, one of the many joys and traditions she shared with her three granddaughters. By far, her favorite role in life was that of Nana to Karrigan, Brynn and Kyla.

Laura is survived by her husband of 39 years, Rick Straight of Wayne; her daughter, Katie Gangwish (David), three granddaughters, Karrigan, Brynn and Kyla Gangwish of Gretna, her mother, Judy Blenderman of Wayne; her siblings, David Blenderman (Chris) of Carlise, Pennsylvania, Becky Blenderman of Richmond, Virginia, and Sandy (Rob) Bohrer of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; her mother-in-law, Pat Straight of Wayne;  brothers-in-law,  Doug (Jenise) Straight of Shickley and Don (Tammy) Straight of Lincoln; and many nieces and nephews.

Laura was preceded in death by her father, Ted Blenderman; her sister, Patty Blenderman; her father-in-law,  Lloyd Straight; and her beloved son, Kyle in 2002.