Friendswood has lost an inspirational and accomplished artist with the passing of Laurie Whitehead on Dec. 1, 2018 at the age of 90. Born April 25, 1928, she was a longtime Friendswood patriot and resident.
Her watercolors captured a wide spectrum of subjects, from real-life contemporary and historical heroes, to characters she brought to life, such as clowns and astronauts.
Her art has been displayed all over the U.S. and Europe. One of her master works “Quinto Centenario,” her tribute to the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ sailing to America, was presented to Pope John Paul II. Laurie’s patriotism led her to paint a tribute to our nation’s history entitled, “One Nation Under God.” Upon completion, this masterpiece quickly obtained national attention, resulting with the honor of an invitation to the Houston home of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush where she presented them with a signed/numbered print. Other masterpieces include her tributes to the crews of our astronauts, The Columbia entitled “And Touched the Face of God” and The Challenger entitled “Swifter than Eagles Flieth.” Another significant painting was her tribute to the history of our Texas Rangers, entitled “Texas Ranger Trails,” which is on display at The Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas. Her last and most magnificent masterpiece is of Christ, entitled “Christ the Glorious.”
Her greatest joy in life was the time she spent with thousands of school children performing art demos at schools in the Friendswood, Pearland, and Clear Lake areas. She adored their curiosity and enthusiasm and welcomed their comments and questions. She always felt their love and respect.
Laurie’s creations were even more remarkable considering the circumstances in her life of personal obstacles, tragic events, and numerous surgeries. The most serious illness and surgeries included breast cancer and a mid-brain tremor. She underwent three brain surgeries to enable her to continue her work as an artist.
Many years ago, Laurie made the choice to donate her body for medical research, specifically for students of neurological studies. In lieu of flowers by her request, donations can be made to one of the following organizations, all of which are related to her health issues. She supported each of these foundations with charitable donations made possible by her works of art. All donations are tax deductible under IRS Regulations 501C (3):
Baylor College of Medicine (brain research): email [email protected] or call 713-798-4714
Shriner’s Hospital for Children: email donate.lovetotherescue.org or call 844-739-0849
The Susan G. Komen Foundation (breast cancer research): email secure.info-komen.org or call 1-877-GO KOMEN
The Friendswood community will celebrate the life and legacy of Laurie Whitehead on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 111 East Heritage Drive, Friendswood.
An exhibition of her original art will be held Saturday, Feb. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Friendswood Frame and Gallery, 150 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood. The Lighthouse Cooking Team is donating refreshments. If you are interested in lending an original work to be included in the showing, please contact Luis Briones at 281-482-2202.