Laura D. Howard Rush, 62 of Eau Claire passed away on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Laura was born on October 27, 1955 to Paul and Donna (Tofting) Howard in Hudson, Wisconsin.  She graduated high school from St. Bede’s in Eau Claire.  Following high school, Laura attended nursing school in Fort Worth, Texas and received her LPN license.  After spending many years in Texas, Laura moved her family to Eau Claire and obtained her RN license at CVTC.  In 2009 she reconnected with Dirk Synder and together they spent many years traveling and living between Eau Claire, Chetek, and Treasure Island, FL.    She was an avid art and music lover.  Del Amitri was her absolute favorite band, who she met multiple times.  She also met the band’s good friend and famous singer, Angela McCluskey.  Laura loved to travel and visited many foreign countries. 

Laura is survived by her significant other, Dirk Snyder of Eau Claire; daughters, Emily Rush of Eau Claire and Claire Rush of Eau Claire; grandson, Joseph Hoegh-Guldberg of Santa Barbara, CA; mother, Donna (Richard) Roehrich of Eau Claire; brothers, Gordon Howard of Eau Claire and Charles (Stephanie) Vierbicher of Eau Claire; 6 step-sisters; 2 step-brothers; and many nieces and nephews.

Laura was preceded in death by her dad, Paul Howard; step-mother, Marian “Babe” Howard; step-dad, Rollie Vierbicher; husband, Jerry Rush; and husband, Alan Haskins.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Community Table, 320 Putnam Street, #2, Eau Claire, WI 54703.    

The family would like to thank the nurses and care staff on the 6th and 8th floors of Sacred Heart Hospital.

Memorial services will be Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm at Smith Funeral Chapel with Rev. Michael Greene officiating.  Visitation will begin two hours prior to the service on Thursday at the funeral home.  Friends and family may leave online condolences at


  1. I am so sorry for your loss! She was a GREAT Woman and nurse! I am so saddened today knowing she passed away! Prayers to the family!!

  2. Dirk,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Laura and I were back door neighbors growing up. She was a wonderful person and will be missed by those that knew her.
    Fred Kappus

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. May fond memories of Laura bring you comfort during this hard time in your life. Look back on all the good memories you were able to have and smile at the fact that you were able to share these before she passed away. My hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. God has promised us that we will soon be reunited with our loved ones. “There is going to be a resurrection,” the Bible confirms at Acts 24:15. “Do not be amazed at this,” Jesus assures us, “for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29)

  4. Most sincere condolences to Donna, Gordy, Dirk and all of Laura’s family and friends. From Bartlett, to Central, to Memorial and beyond: Laura Howard was always a real and wonderful friend to me. I’ll never forget her warm smile and contagious laughter. Laura was and always will be way cool. R. I. P. Mi Amiga! Dave

  5. my condolences to Dirk, again, and to all of her friends and family. So sad to see classmates leave us. I didn’t know Laura well but always loved her smile and kind and friend personality. She is at peace as we, left behind, struggle with the loss.

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