Laura Harris Hales died at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer

Laura Elizabeth Harris Hales an American writer, historian, and podcaster who focused on matters of history, theology, and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) passed away on April 13, 2022, at the age of 54 years from pancreatic cancer.

Hales was born on August 12, 1967, to Alfred Ray and Margaret Lewis Harris in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Michigan and Minnesota. She was the seventh of eight children.

For the next seventeen years, her family zigzagged from Minnesota to Michigan and back again until Laura left to attend Brigham Young University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in professional writing from New England College.

She later earned a master’s degree in history from Arizona State University’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, with a specialization in North American history.

Laura met Brian Dursteler at BYU, and they married on April 23, 1988. They traveled throughout the country together while he worked on his medical degree and served in the military.

They had five great children along the way, each of whom embraced a love of reading. Laura described how she organized semi-monthly book runs to the Greene County Library when they resided in Dayton, Ohio.

The Dursteler family eventually relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where the couple divorced in March 2005. Laura moved her family north to Farmington at that moment, closer to her siblings, who promptly mobilized their resources to assist her during this difficult time.

Laura embraced single motherhood in Utah while honing her marketable abilities and finally landing a job as a paralegal. She married Brian Hales on September 14 of that year, describing him as “the husband of my heart, mind, and soul” (and he feels the same way about her).

Laura’s family would like to express their gratitude to Drs. Carl Gray, Glynn Gilcrease III, and Shane Brogan, as well as their medical teams, for their wonderful care.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the Hill Farms Ward Chapel, 615 North Flint Street, Kaysville, Utah. A viewing will be held at Russon Mortuary, 1941 North Main Street, Farmington, Utah, on Monday, April 18, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and before services in the church on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 9:30 to 10:30 AM.