Arkansas Online


of Little Rock, died peacefully September 10, 2023. Laura persevered with strength and courage over the last year as she navigated treatment for glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Laura was born October 18, 1955, in St. Louis, Mo., to Margaret and Lewie Watkins, Jr., and moved to Little Rock when she was nine. Laura was the oldest of five children. She helped raise her siblings, remained devoted to them and considered them her closest friends. Laura graduated from Little Rock Central High in 1973. She worked for many years in marketing, including several years with Cranford Johnson. Laura’s favorite job was working at Central High for 11 years before she retired in 2014. She remained a proud Tiger. Laura was fully dedicated to her children and grandchildren. She survived staggering losses, having been widowed by both of her husbands in 1989 and 1995. She raised her three children as a single parent. She will be remembered so lovingly for her tenacity, resilience and wholehearted commitment as our mother.

Laura volunteered with AR Kids Read, Arkansas Foodbank, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the COVID Vaccine Clinic with Kavanaugh Pharmacy. She was an avid reader and gardener. Laura’s favorite role in retirement was being a grandmother. Ada and Clark’s visits were the highlight of any day. Following the death of her close friend Danny Elliott, Laura spent an incredible amount of time enjoying and caring for his longtime home in Gilbert, Ark., on the Buffalo River. She hosted numerous gatherings, honed her remarkable home improvement skills and enjoyed canoeing and walking. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Gary McBroom; her husband, John Peach; and her brother, Lewie A. Watkins III. Laura is survived by her children, Mason McBroom (Sarah), Michael McBroom and Maggie Peach (Richard); and her grandchildren, Ada Ruth and Gary Clark McBroom. She is survived by her siblings, Peggy Mitchell (David), Phillip Watkins (Audrey), and John Watkins (Leesa); and her nine nieces and nephews. Caring for Laura gave us the chance to treat her with the love and tenderness she modeled for us throughout her life. Heartfelt thanks to our extended family, especially Peggy Mitchell and Audrey Watkins, for their loving support during our mother’s illness. Special appreciation to Maggie Peach and Richard Noel for their unwavering commitment to Laura’s care. A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church, 1003 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, Ark. on Friday, September 22, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Laura’s memory to Volunteers in Public Schools at 616 N. Harrison St., Little Rock, Ark. 72205, or CARTI Foundation at 8901 CARTI Way, Little Rock, 72205. Arrangements entrusted to: Arkansas Cremation.