After a hard-fought battle with an aggressive cancer, Laurie Michelle Rapley went home to be with the Lord on March 1, 2022 while in Hospice Care at the age of 60. Laurie was such a woman of passion, strength and faith. She served the Lord, by feeding the homeless and sharing God’s word. This was coupled with her own words of wisdom to uplift the soul. Her sense of humor and laughter were contagious and her love for family was priceless.
After a short time with Kodak, Laurie’s entrepreneurial spirit grew. She became a proprietor of several successful businesses: Miss Laurie’s Home Daycare, Big Mama’s Residential & Commercial Cleaning Service, and Ms. Laurie’s Doll Museum, which was dedicated to victims of sexual abuse. The museum was featured on WXXI. Her 4Ever and Ever Boutique (Formally Big Mama’s Antiques) featured unique antique furniture and classic vintage fashions. Her incredible sense of home décor caused many to request her advice and services to decorate their homes. Laurie’s custom Christmas trees were sought after every year. She briefly modeled, strutting her stuff on local television modeling bathing suits in 1981.
Laurie was most proud of her garden. Her incredible green thumb was known throughout the community. She was the recipient of the ‘City of Rochester Neighborhood Beautification Award’ for her gardens and landscape. Laurie’s entrepreneurial spirit touched many throughout the Rochester community. As the former owner of Ms. Laurie’s daycare, Laurie lovingly cared for many children over the years. She instilled her own style of early childhood education which included faith, morals and values.
She is predeceased by her father Robert Rapley, Mother Florine McEwen, Grandmothers Mattie Hawkins, Florence Rainey, Stepsister Pam McEwen and former husband, Michael Majors. She is survived by her 7 siblings: Karen (Reginald) Rowels, Melinda McEwen, Lisa Dorsey, Syreeta (Otis) Smith, Labria (Leonard) McNeal, Tameka Dingle and Robert Smith-Rapley and stepsisters: Essie McEwen and Stephanie McEwen. 4 sons and 2 daughters: Kenyatta Rapley, Florine ‘Nechole’ Rapley, Stephon Rapley, Dajuan Barnwell, Malachi Majors and Sarai Majors. 9 grandchildren: India Rapley, Lachelle Rapley, Heaven Rapley, Shamir Tisdale, Stephon Rapley, Jr., Aniyah Rapley, Honesty Rapley, Promise Rapley and Kingston Majors. One great grandchild: Nova Smith. 10 nieces & nephews: Tyler Rowles, Megan Fleming, Richard A. Raines, Dominique Smith, D’Angelo Smith, Philiasophia Wood, Prophecy Wood, Michael Rapley, Rani Rapley, Robert Rapley, Jr., and spiritual daughter: Lametria Dewberry and a host of cousins, aunts and uncles and long-time best friend-Sista-girl: Hattie Blake.
Upon Ms. Rapley’s request, there will no formal funeral service. “I want my flowers while I’m alive to enjoy them.”
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