Laurie Rosalie White died peacefully on December 13, 2018 at her home in McKinleyville, California. She was 96 years old.

Laurie is survived by her four children, Ronald Buss, Jr., Rosemary Buss, Duane Buss, and Bernadette Cheyne; two grandchildren, Ariana Chapanar and Niesje Walton; three great-grandchildren, Alexis, Cheryl and Kenneth Walton; a number of cousins, nieces and nephews; and many people whose lives she touched in important and memorable ways.

Laurie was born on November 16, 1922 in Fielding, New Zealand, to sheep farmers Robert and Florence Cheyne. She graduated from Utuwai Elementary School in New Zealand. Although she completed only 8 years of formal education, Laurie was highly intelligent; a prolific writer of music, poems, and short stories; and possessed an extraordinary memory for song lyrics and poetry. She also instilled in her children a passion for learning, as well as a love of music and other artistic endeavors. Laurie possessed a keen and sometimes delightfully devilish wit, enjoyed lighthearted banter, and will be remembered for her ability to bring humor to almost any situation.

During World War II, from February 1943 to February 1944, Laurie served in the New Zealand Army as a Radar Operator for the Fort Dorset School of Artillery in Wellington and was later a member of the 6 Unit Demonstration Squad. While serving at Fort Dorset, she met Ronald Buss, Sr., stationed there with the United States Navy. They married in 1944 and in 1945 she sailed to the United States as a war bride with their first child, Ronald, Jr., and settled in her husband’s home town of Menomonie, Wisconsin, later moving south to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

While in Kenosha, for many years Laurie very successfully raised four children as a single mother, not an easy task in a foreign country with no immediate family support. In 1963, she began working as a Nurse Assistant in a variety of hospitals and clinics, including those serving disabled American veterans, handicapped children, and elderly patients. After retiring, and finally growing weary of the long and cold Midwest winters, in 1994 Laurie and daughter Rosemary relocated to Northern California where daughter Bernadette lived, ultimately settling in McKinleyville.

Never satisfied with idleness, in July 1996 Laurie became a member of Sheriff’s Citizens on Patrol (SCOP), and remained active in that organization until well into her 80s, participating in regular patrols and ultimately becoming a Field Training Officer. She also became a parishioner at the Catholic Church of Christ the King in McKinleyville, and enjoyed participating in church events and activities.

A visitation will be held on Friday, January 11, 2019, from 3:00-7:00 pm at Sanders Funeral Home in Eureka, California. A Catholic mass is scheduled at Christ the King in McKinleyville at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 12, 2019, to be followed by a reception where refreshments will be served and stories will be shared. Family, friends and acquaintances are welcome to attend both events and celebrate Laurie’s life. In lieu of flowers, Laurie requested that donations be made in her name to Sheriff’s Citizen’s on Patrol (SCOP), 826 Fourth St., Eureka, CA 95501.


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