Laura Jean Quinlivan
November 7, 1961 ~ November 10, 2022
Big Spring, Texas
Resided in: Bryan, Texas
Laura Jean Quinlivan passed away at home in Bryan, Texas, on November 10, 2022. Laura was born in Big Spring, Texas, on November 7, 1961. Laura was Geneva and Dan Quinlivan’s second child and Mo’s little sister. Dan’s work as a surveyor took the family to Middlesex, New Jersey. The family stayed in New Jersey while Dan was working on the New Jersey Turnpike expansion. The family moved to Dallas, and Laura graduated from Sharpstown High School in Houston, Texas.
Laura attended Sam Houston University in Huntsville, Texas, where she studied English literature. She moved back to Irving, TX, and began working in the printing business in Dallas. While in Dallas, she decided that she wanted to work caring for animals. She spent some time volunteering with the Ft. Worth Zoo and working with a wild cat rescue organization on the weekends, and she started working as a lab animal caretaker at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. While at UT Southwestern, she took classes at several community colleges in the area and managed several rodent colonies in the labs at UT Southwestern.
In 2001, she moved to College Station, TX, where she continued working with lab animal caretakers and researchers as a rodent colony manager in the Lab Animal Research program (later the Comparative Medicine Program or CMP) at Texas A&M University. While with CMP, she authored “The Role of Rodent Colony Manager,” which was published in a 2008 issue of the journal Lab Animal. After her work with CMP, she worked for the Texas A&M Medical School in Temple, in the lab of Dr. Darwin Prockop.
Laura met her husband, Kris May, when she was Secretary for Texas A&M’s GLBT Professional Network (later the LGBTQ+ Professional Network), which she helped found with Dave Martin and other LGBTQ+ staff, faculty, and graduate students at Texas A&M. In addition to the GLBT Professional Network, Laura was also a member of a monthly LGBTQ+ reading group meet-up in Bryan/College Station. In 2004, Laura and Kris began living together in Bryan, TX, and they married in October 2015.
Laura was loved by many friends and family members. She is survived by her husband Kris May and their cats Sylvia and Phoenix (Bryan, TX); sister Mo Quinlivan Fauser and Mo’s partner Sarah (of Los Angeles, CA); nephew Thomas Fauser and his wife Darlene, as well as their daughter Moo (of Dallas, TX); nephew Dominic Fauser and his wife Elizabeth, as well as his son Sydney and daughter Olivia (of Wilmington, DE); and nephew Tobias Fauser and his sons Saani and Jude, as well as their mother Angie (of Tucson, Arizona).
Laura loved all cats and baby animals, purple, the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doctor Who, and the novels of Robert Heinlein. She enjoyed gathering with close friends each Thursday afternoon to share food, coffee, stories, and laughter. She loved to crochet, and over the years made many hats, scarfs, mittens, afghans, and baby blankets for friends and family. Diagnosed as diabetic at the age of three, Laura encouraged others dealing with chronic health issues to advocate for their health and well-being as they navigate their ways through the US healthcare system. A lifelong learner, she was endlessly curious about science and nature.
Laura is missed tremendously by friends and family. The connections she had to these people was deep, and she was a loyal friend who would do anything she could to help those she loved. Though several chronic health conditions meant she was in constant pain, she was always there to share a laugh or uplifting story and found joy in appreciating everyday things like wildflowers, a cool breeze, a soft blanket, a snuggly cat, and the smell of bread baking in the oven. Laura was a fighter and fought each day for her own life and for those she loved. She could look beyond the superficial and see people for who they truly are, appreciating their unique talents and potential. As her sister Mo said, “Laura knew my soul better than anyone else.” Laura believed in building community, and even when she was unable to attend social gatherings due to her own health challenges, she was there in spirit.
A memorial is being planned for March 2023 to honor Laura and her life; details will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, Kris, Mo, and Sarah encourage those who would like to honor Laura with a gift to donate to Pride Community Center (Pride CC) in Bryan/College Station, TX. Laura believed passionately in Pride CC’s mission “to raise awareness, provide support, and create safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families in the Brazos Valley.” To donate to Pride CC, please visit https://www.pridecc.org/get- involved/donate.
Beautiful picture of Laura and that’s how I will remember her. Kris you are in our thoughts and prayers. I know how much you and Laura loved each other. It was a blessing for me to have met her.
Kris you are in my thoughts and I’m sending you strength and comfort and peace. Bless you.