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Laura Ruth Hulse

October 5, 1930 ~ July 31, 2020 (age 89)


Laura Ruth Hulse, age 89, of Kirksville, MO passed away at 12:55 pm Friday, July 31, 2020, at her home for the past five years, Highland Crest Assisted Living in Kirksville. 

Private graveside services will be held 2:00 PM Monday, August 3, 2020, at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal.  Rev. Dr. J. Kris Tenny-Brittian will officiate. Laura's favorite hymn, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," will be the musical selection.

Family and friends may view the service live via Facebook under the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel page at 2:00 PM on Monday. The service may also be viewed on Laura's memorial page Monday evening at

The family is being served by the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel of Hannibal.

Laura was born October 5, 1930, in Rensselaer, MO to F. Ward and Martha Ellen Tompkins Hulse.
Surviving are a brother, Roy, Godfrey, IL; seven nephews and nieces-Danny (Caroline), Randy (Paula), Michele Daniels (Steve), Lisa Cunningham (Jeff), Eddie (Kym), Terry Thurston (Eric), Kirk (Diane); 13 great nephews and nieces-Ryan (Leticia), Tim (Laura), Kelley Greeves (Blake), Neil (Lauren), Brooke Smith (Cliff), Sydney Borgmeyer (Josh), Clinton Daniels (Amy), Jourdan and Shelby Cunningham, Tyfani Nagy (Kris), Erica McDermott (Brian), Carley Arnsman (Josh), Drew (Tori); and 20 great-great nephews and nieces-Selby, Edward, Burton, Cecelia, Anna, Samson, Bennett, Mason, Ella, Mack, Lincoln, Jackson, Connor, Charles, Riley, Janie, Deacon, Brinley, Gavin and Camryn and special friend, Janice Legg, of more than 60 years.

Preceding her in death were her mother in 1958, her father in 1981, her sister Mary Ellen Trower in 1999, her brother Francis in 2003, her brother Edward in 2010, her brother-in-law Richard Trower in 1985, her sister-in-law Virginia in 2006, and her sister-in-law Jane Ann in 2016.

Laura graduated from Monroe City High School in 1948, having attended Rensselaer High School the previous three years.  She was class vice-president and reporter, played basketball, participated in the junior and senior plays, and sang in the girls' glee club and mixed chorus.  She was an 11-year member of 4-H, during which time she was awarded Jr. Leadership and Dress Review recognition.  Laura graduated from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (now Truman State University) in May 1952 with a B.S.E. in Business Education and in May 1955 with an M.A. in Business Education.  She taught at Kahoka High School for three years before joining the Business Education faculty at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1955.  Laura did post graduate work at the Universities of Colorado, Missouri and Illinois. She retired from Truman State University in 1988. 

Following retirement, she traveled extensively, including Europe, Scandinavia and Leningrad, Russia.  She spent the winters of 2001-2010 in the warmth of Arizona. During her university teaching years, she traveled to Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, and took cruises to the Panama Canal, Alaska and the Caribbean.  Laura thoroughly enjoyed playing bridge and was a member of three bridge clubs. Quite a notable gift, Laura was a faithful blood donor, having given 79 units, one unit short of 10 gallon!

When Laura was 12, she was baptized at the Rensselaer Christian Church, by the Rev. John William Golden. As a youth, her family worshiped with the Hannibal First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where Laura placed her membership.  She transferred her membership July 10, 1977, to the Kirksville First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where she served as Church Treasurer, Church Financial Secretary and where for many years, she was “Miss Laura” to the Wednesday LOGOS preschoolers and to the Sunday morning Noah's Room pre-school class.

Laura was also a member of Chapter IG, PEO; Alpha Chapter, Pi Omega Pi; National Business Education Teacher Honor Society; Alpha Iota Chapter, Delta Pi Epsilon, National Honorary Graduate Fraternity in Business Education; Delta Sigma Epsilon (now Delta Zeta), International College Sorority; Cardinal Key, National Service Honor Society; Kappa Delta Pi, International Education Honor Society; Pi Kappa Delta, Speech and Debate Honor Society. She received her 50 Year Golden Alumni Diploma from Truman State in 2002.  She was a Life Member of Northeast Missouri State University Alumni Association and Missouri Business Education Association and in 1988 she received the Distinguished Service Award. She was also a member of the National Business Education Association; Missouri Vocational Association; Missouri State Teachers Association; National Education Association; AARP; Senior Circle; and Kirksville Arts Association.

Pallbearers will be Tim Hulse, Ryan Hulse, Clinton Daniels, Josh Borgmeyer, Josh Arnsman, and Neil Hulse.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Week of Compassion and mailed to First Christian Church, 100 North High Street, Kirksville, MO  63501.  

Online condolences may be made to the family and graveside service viewed on Laura's memorial page at 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Laura Ruth Hulse, please visit our floral store.

Committal Service


Private Committal

Grand View Burial Park
11116 US-61
Hannibal, MO 63401


Week of Compassion
100 North High Street, Kirksville MO 63501

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