Live broadcast of Service opens at 10:45 a.m., with a Service start time of 11:00 a.m. MTN time.
On the evening of March 9, 2021, heaven gained a special angel when Laura passed away at her home from a pulmonary embolism caused by complications from a recent ankle surgery. Her loving husband, Mike, was by her side.
Laura Kathleen (Niklas) Barrett was born in Helena, Montana on July 25, 1972. She was the third daughter born to David and Colleen (Kearney) Niklas. Her older sisters were only one and three when she was born, and their closeness in age kept them close throughout their lives; they grew up attending the same schools at the same time, knowing the same people and friends, sharing life experiences, many family vacations, and were always together growing up. Laura always said she had an awesome childhood, and was the child full of life and energy. She was fearless, ready for any adventure, always social and outgoing, and participated in gymnastics and cheerleading when she was in school. She attended Four Georgians Elementary School, C.R. Anderson Middle School, and graduated from Capital High School in 1991. She attended school at Montana State University, then moved back to Helena to begin her work career.
Laura’s first love was animals, and she enjoyed working with them at veterinary clinics for many years. Laura eventually transitioned to working in medical billing, and finally to her job in payroll at WestMont where she spent the last 2 ½ years. She enjoyed working with the WestMont team and was proud of their mission to help people. Laura also loved new challenges, and enjoyed being her own boss. Over the years she successfully started and grew several home businesses. Her work ethic and genuine compassion for everyone she interacted with served her well, and she was always an outstanding employee and business woman.
In June of 2000 she met her future husband, Michael Barrett and both knew in a short time that they were meant to be together. They married on July 14, 2001; this summer they would have celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, and were making plans for a trip to commemorate their 20 years of adventures and love for one another. They both knew how lucky they were to have each other and talked over the years about how thankful they were that God brought them together. Mike and Laura spent their time together camping, boating, side-by-side rides, spending time with friends, family (including their fur babies) and taking trips together.
Laura loved animals from a very young age. Her passion to help them continued with volunteer work that contributed to the well-being of animals big and small. She enjoyed riding horses, always had at least one dog (usually more than one!) and often a cat too, and would tirelessly work to find any animal a good home…even if that meant adopting it herself, or as a child, convincing her parents to adopt the poor thing. There was at least one cat and many dogs that had a great life thanks to her welcoming them into her home.
Laura was preceded in death by her mom, Colleen (Kearney) Niklas, in March of 2020; by her grandparents Tony and Charlotte Niklas, and Tom and Vivienne Kearney; and by her very dear friend Kerry Connole, all of whom were waiting for her in heaven.
Laura is survived by her husband, Mike; father, David Niklas; her sister Tammy (Dave) Lindgren and their children Ashley (Tyrel Suzor-Hoy) and Hunter Lindgren; sister Pam Watson and her sons Tyler, Will and Carson Watson; her in-laws Daryl and Donna Brassfield; sister and brother-in-law Michelle (Brent) Beebe and their children Abby (Glenn Falcon) and Ethan; sister in-law Terrie Darling; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and so many wonderful friends that were like family to her.
A celebration of her life will be held here at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home on Tuesday March 16th, at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow in the reception room.
Memorials may be sent to organizations that benefit the well-being of animals, or to an organization of the donor’s choice.
Laura’s family would like to take a moment to thank all of the friends who loved her so much, and who have helped us during this difficult time. The shocking, unexpected loss of this beautiful, kind, loving woman is extremely difficult for anyone whose life she touched. The support, companionship, memories, stories, pictures, laughter, and impact she left on us all will help get us through. Thank you for loving her so much in her life, and for showing us all so much love during her loss. We will never forget your kindness. Laura loved each day, and we know she wants that for each of us. Maya Angelou said “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Anyone who knew Laura, knows how true that statement is.