Laura M. Rauscher

Laura Marie Rauscher, age 64, of Cambridge, May 12, 2023, Beloved daughter of Marie H. (Dahl) Rauscher of Cambridge and the late Richard. Devoted sister of Kimberly J. Rauscher of Boise, Idaho. Loving niece of Patricia “Pat” Dahl, Edward Dahl and the late Richard and Robert Dahl. Also survived by many cousins and dear friends. Funeral service will be held in St. John’s Church, 2254 Mass., Ave., North Cambridge, Thursday, May 18, at 10:00 Am. Relatives and friends invited. We lost our Laura. And I say “our” not just because I know that despite her impressive ability to make you feel singularly claimed, cherished, and the star of the show in that moment, but that to me the overarching theme of her life was one of love and service. She was a friend, a mentor, a booster, a comrade, a fellow pleasure seeker, a hope holder, a world builder and changer. It’s of course hard to hold the entire scope of her impact, the breath of it all,from being on the ground literally and figuratively during foundational times in the disability rights movement in Berkeley, to working on the policy framework that would become the ADA, to the the many thousands of lives she impacted by being the director of disability services at Smith College for over 20 years. And even more in the community she built. I am so glad I had the experience of co teaching with her a class in Clinical issues and Ableism to future social workers a few summers ago. And that I got many hours of summer breezes on her porch. But never enough. Even at the very end she modeled Crip family for everyone. The doctors and nurses continually expressed amazement at the amount of people showing up and participating in her care. And that the majority of people there had been in her life for over 40 years. I will never forget the grace and beautiful intent demonstrated by loved ones, all of our impacted bodies working together to try to insure that she was not alone during any of the visiting hours, and that we had our own “sit in” in the icu waiting room. Memorial contrubutions may be made in Laura's name to Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund., or National Council on Independent Living Interment, Cambridge Cemetery.