Lorraine ‘Laurie’ Anne Villarreal, 69, Vietnam nurse awarded for outstanding performance of duty

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Lorraine "Laurie" Anne Villarreal
Lorraine “Laurie” Anne Villarreal

Lorraine “Laurie” Anne Villarreal, of Williamsburg, died June 3, 2015, at the age of 69.

She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Col. Guadalupe “Lou” Villarreal, USAF Ret.; her son, Lt. Col. David W. Villarreal, USAF; daughter-in-law, Katheryn S. Villarreal; daughter, Lisa M. Brown; son-in-law, David R. Brown; grandchildren, Madeline Grace Brown, Lilyan Marie Brown and Chase Alexander Villarreal; her mother, Helen L. Petkus; and her brother, Lynn R. Petkus.

She was preceded in death by her father, Col. Walter A. Petkus, USAF Ret. and brother, James W. Petkus.

She was a member of St. Bede Catholic Church and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, cooking, reading, sewing and trying out new recipes.

Laurie was born in Clovis, New Mexico. Laurie graduated from St. Aloysius Academy in Rome, New York. She also attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. After a year in residence, she then decided to go into nursing and graduated from St. Catherine’s School of Nursing in Omaha, Nebraska.

After receiving her nursing certification, she joined her parents who were stationed at Fuchu Air Station near Tokyo, Japan. There she met her husband-to-be, Lou Villarreal, and they married in 1969. Laurie worked as a civilian clinical staff nurse on a 100-bed orthopedic service, 249th U.S. Army General Hospital, Camp Drake, Japan. She was awarded the Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement for her outstanding performance of duty in servicing our soldiers with orthopedic injuries suffered in combat in Vietnam.

Laurie returned to the states and lived in Plano, Texas. She worked in nursing staff positions at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. She also worked at the general hospitals in Richardson, Texas and Plano, Texas.

In 1980, Laurie moved to Shoppe, Germany with her husband and two children where Lou was stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base. They lived there for five years. During this period, Laurie was a member of the Critical Care Nurses Group at Landstuhl Army Hospital. She also volunteered at the nurse’s office at the Vogelweh Elementary School.

In 1985, the family returned to the states where Lou was stationed at Langley Air Force Base. Laurie then worked at Mary Immaculate Hospital in the kidney dialysis unit. She also served for six years as a weekend nursing supervisor. She was a staff member at MIH a total of 17 years. In 1999, Laurie worked for Anthem Alliance on the Tricare Program as a healthcare finder and as a staff personnel manager.

Due to an auto traffic injury she suffered, Laurie retired medically in 2002. She then was able to spend summers with her two granddaughters sharing her love of cooking and crafts with them. Recently, Laurie enjoyed loving and caring for her grandson.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 12, 2015, at Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel, 10 Harrison Ave., Williamsburg, VA 23185. Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please senddonations as a memorial in her honor to one of the following foundations of your choice: Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, VA 23188; University of Virginia Health Foundation, P.O. Box 400807, Charlottesville, VA 22907-3015; or Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund, 1835 Fishing Point Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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