Eva Laurel Baxter Blomquist was born in the autumn of 1951 in Pleasant Grove, Utah to Lowell J. Baxter and Barbara Inez Loader Baxter. Laurel is the 2nd child of 4. As she was raised in Pleasant Grove, she attended Central Elementary, Pleasant Grove Junior High, and Pleasant Grove High School where she shared her talents as part of Pep Club. Laurel later attended Brigham Young University. Laurel enjoyed a childhood living on orchard property in a red brick home built by her parents in Pleasant Grove where she rode horses and picked cherries and enjoyed the company of her siblings.
Laurel was blessed with a magnetic personality. She was kind and loving, and genuinely accepting of everyone. She had a generous heart, a quick wit and a bright sense of humor that often involved a little mischief. Her laugh was iconic and erupted often when she was pulling the tent pegs of the priesthood leaders tents at girls camp with her young women, listening to her children play tricks on each other late at night, or when she would run away from her husband in a hilarious game of chase they played with the whole family in the dark. Laurel was often the one laughing when her children created messes and mischief, or when Keith fell off a ladder. She passed on her plight of laughter at inappropriate times to her daughters who happily carry on her tradition by bringing laughter to the ICU while Laurel was on hospice, when their children draw on furniture, eat water colors or when someone gets hurt - as long as they aren’t seriously injured.
In 1973, Laurel serendipitously met Keith Blomquist, a handsome businessman, when getting pictures taken for her current boyfriend at BYU. Keith and Laurel started dating shortly after and Keith proposed on Mytoge mountain in Fish Lake, Utah after a whirlwind 2 week long romance. They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on August 28, 1973 and were dedicated companions from that moment forward.
Laurel pursued everything with reckless abandon. Passionate about gardening, canning, crocheting, knitting, basket weaving, furniture making, and spinning yarn on her spinning wheel made with the help of her husband she also loved card making, paper making, scripture study, and indexing for family search where she made a goal of indexing 150 lines a day, completing over 10,000 names.
Laurel loved music and was a skilled pianist who loved to gather her family to sing children’s Primary songs, Christmas songs, Broadway music, and hymns. She often volunteered her husband and children to sing and loved to listen to them. She encouraged her children to develop their talents by participating in violin camps, youth symphony, guitar lessons, debate team, drama classes, auditions for plays and musicals, dance company and drill team. She often exclaimed, "you can do this!"
Laurel enjoyed sharing her talents with everyone she knew. Whether it was through her church callings or serving friends, co-workers, family, and ward members. Her props for road shows were unparalleled, and her early morning seminary lessons kept the teenagers engaged and awake in the freezing North Dakota mornings as she shared her testimony of the Gospel. She taught her family to rely on prayer and to see the evidence of God’s hand in their lives.
Laurel loved Sunday drives on the Alpine Loop listening to Conference, staying at the Fish Lake cabin where she would speak of her memories of our grandparents, walking the trails at Cascade Springs, camping at Knotty Pine with her mom and dad, and impromptu family picnics at South Fork or Vivian Park. Laurel and Keith focused their time on their family — teaching them to rely on each other, love each other, and value family history.
Laurel could often be found crocheting baby blankets for new babies (especially her 22 grandchildren), knitting leper bandages for humanitarian aid, crocheting hot pads as gifts, quilting for her children, feeding missionaries, offering love and mothering to her children’s friends and giving of her talents to neighbors, ward members, and family.
As Laurel raised her family she would tell them, "we can do hard things," something that became a battle cry after she suffered her first stroke in January 2016. Laurel persevered through 4 strokes and the limitations they placed on her. She showed her children miracles and the power of prayer as she regained skills and pushed through speech hurdles and recovered in ways that were thought impossible by doctors. However, on October 12, 2020 Laurel suffered a catastrophic stroke while visiting family in St. George, Utah. On Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 8:39 am, our sweet mom, wife, daughter and best friend, gracefully stepped into her next chapter of life. She was surrounded by her children and husband who loved her, played music and sang for her, and prayed for her. We are immeasurably grateful to her nurses at Dixie Regional Medical Center for the kind, loving, and respectful care they offered Laurel and our family.
She is survived by her husband, Keith W. Blomquist, and children: Erik Blomquist (Heather), Shelli Spotts (Ron), Melinda Preator (Mark), Britt Gosh, Lindsay Moore (Adam), Alexandra Lewis (Zach), and Lauren Blomquist, her mother, Barbara Loader Baxter, as well as her siblings, John Baxter (Susan), Brad Baxter (MaryAnn), Lisa Irons, and 22 grandchildren.
Laurel is preceded in death by her father, Lowell Baxter, her mother-in-law, Virginia Blomquist and her father-in-law, A. Reed Blomquist.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 12:00 Noon in the Magleby Mortuary, 50 South 100 West, Richfield, UT 84701. A viewing and family visiting time will be held from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Richfield City Cemetery. Live streaming of the services and online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.