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People were drawn to Heidi Horrigan Laughlin throughout her 29 years, attracted by the way she led her life.

In the same way, friends and family surrounded her in recent months during her long struggle with Hodgkin's lymphoma and when she died at the University of Minnesota Medical Center on Dec. 16, 1999.

Born in Buffalo, she lived in Bloomington, Minn., since her 1997 marriage to Timothy W. Laughlin. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Monday in St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minneapolis, and a Memorial Mass will be offered at 6 p.m. Wednesday in St. Joseph's University Church, 3269 Main St.

Mrs. Laughlin graduated in 1988 from Nardin Academy, where she was on the track and field team, student council, and was captain of the varsity soccer team.

She later played for the Delaware Soccer Club, where her strong shot earned the nickname "Big Foot" among her friends. She was also a member of the "Ice Cream Team," one of the area's first coed soccer teams.

Mrs. Laughlin graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and earned a master's degree in counselor education from Canisius College in 1994. Like her mother before her, she became a school counselor, serving until her death on the faculty of Spring Lake Park High School in Spring Lake Park, Minn. There she served on several school committees, coached the girls' junior varsity soccer team, and following her illness, started a support group for students whose parents and loved ones were coping with cancer.

During her own 21 months of treatment, she never accepted the role of "patient," her family said, skiing in Utah with friends and loved ones as recently as last spring -- even on the expert trails to which she had become accustomed.

"Heidi accepted her medical condition with the determination and desire to be cured," her family said. "She characterized the treatment process as being a 'team effort,' involving friends, family and medical staff."

Besides her husband, Mrs. Laughlin is survived by her parents, Dennis and Elizabeth Horrigan of the Town of Tonawanda; a brother, Scott Horrigan of Buffalo; her maternal grandparents, Ted and Alice Barczak of Snyder; and her paternal grandparents; Raymond and Joan Horrigan of Williamsville.


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