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Photo of Laurie Hoirup.

Laurie Hoirup March 14, 1956 – July 4, 2016

Join us for a
Celebration of Life for Laurie Hoirup

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM
The Old Sugar Mill Winery
35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg, CA 95612

Make a Donation

In Laurie's memory donations will be directed to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF).


being a shy person, I always regret not speaking up. i now have to add another regret to the list. i met Laurie almost two years ago at the Sacramento SMA Walk and Roll. she was truly an inspiration and was completely shocked at hearing the tragic news since i knew as a total stranger to her that her life was far from over. her entire family has been in my thoughts and prayers since the Fourth of July and will continue to be - Sasha Hernandez

Links about Laurie

KCRA segment:

Fox 40 segment:


Laurie Hoirup was born March 14th, 1956 in Springfield Illinois. Born to Dorothy and Arthur Loser. At 18 months old, doctors diagnosed her with Duchene's a rare type of muscular dystrophy with a short life prognosis. Laurie survived past the predicted age of 2. Then at 4 years of age, she eventually was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type II. She started grade school, got her first wheelchair at the age of 6, and like all her friends, she hated doing all her chores. She climbed trees being hoisted with ropes by her girlfriends to the tree house, was carried down mountains, swam, horseback rode, camped and hiked. Laurie started high school and continued making lifelong friendships. She did, and experienced all the crazy high school shenanigans of her peers, enjoyed her Camaro, boys, dances and shopping. Her friends did all her personal care at school and helped make a normal life for her. Laurie excelled in both Mingus Union and Richmond Burton High. She attended Arizona State University

Where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and San Diego State University where she received a Master’s degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and was named the Student of the Year. She also received all her teaching credentials and was a substitute teacher for several years. During this time, along with being a living example of creativity and teamwork, she often made Disability Awareness presentations to her students. She married John Rainey and had again surpassing all medical expectations and barriers, had 2 children, Chad William and Jillian Amber Rainey. She took off work to be a stay at home mother for a short time. Laurie divorced in 1988 and soon met the man of her dreams Jacob Ralph Hoirup Jr (JR) in 1990. Laurie was very active in her SMA conferences as well as fundraising walks. Laurie dealt with many hardships as a child, accessibility challenges, issues with independent living, discrimination and a progressing disability. That never stopped her. Laurie worked at Community Access Center in Riverside from 2002-2006 as a Program manager and eventually became the Executive Director. She was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Director of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities from 2006-2008 and then was made Chief Deputy Director from 2008-2011. As a prominent disability advocate, she empowered and touched so many lives. Laurie served on several committees including the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) Planning Committee and many school committees, at the time of her passing she was the President of the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities (ACSED) and the North California Publishers and Authors (NCPA). She retired early as her health was declining. Laurie wrote a first place award winning Memoir about her life, "I Can Dance..My Life with a Disability" followed by her children’s book "Being Different is Okay”. Her sequels will soon follow.

Laurie always said, “Get out and do what you love, even if it has to be modified because you have to be a risk taker to get old and enjoy the people and world around you." Laurie Hoirup departed this life doing what she loved most and surrounded by her family and friends on July 4th, 2016. She is survived by her husband JR, mother Dottie, half-brother Artie, two children Chad and Jillian, and her 4 grandchildren; Michael, Liam, Jeremiah, Tobias. Her Legacy will Continue.

Donations to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) are requested in Laurie’s memory. She was dedicated to helping youth with disabilities become employed and self-fulfilled adults who are able to advocate for their own needs as well as give back to their communities. In addition, she served on the YLF Planning Committee and encouraged ACSED to support YLF and her daughter, Jillian, has worked at YLF in various capacities.

Contributions can be made online to the Sustainability Fund for the Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (YLF) here on the CFILC website, or make your donation directly onto the Cal YLF Donation page. Donations can also be made via check, payable to Cal YLF and mailed to: Denise Boshers, Treasurer
Friends, Inc.
9705 Swansboro Way
Bakersfield, CA 93314