Lauris Steven Grabeklis

Lauris Steven Grabeklis was born in Sterling, Illinois on June 27, 1955, and he died in Ocoee, Florida on March 30, 2024.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Maureen, and their children Maurae Thao (Sue), and Justin (Jenn) and three adorable grandchildren, Charlotte, Zoe and Lincoln. Lauris was predeceased by his parents Joanne (Stevens) and Arturs “Art” Grabeklis and is survived by his two sisters, Juli Grabeklis (Ron Rimrodt), and Sheri (Jay Stewart) and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Lauris lived life with passion! He was never satisfied to just “dip his toe in the water” rather he had to leap into the deep end and completely immerse himself in whatever he was focused on. He was enthusiastic and energized no matter what the endeavor in such diverse pursuits as woodworking, photography, computer technology, canning and preserving, cooking, horticulture, reading and many more. But his two greatest passions were his family and traveling.

Lauris and Maureen were blessed to be able to travel the world together and they never slowed down. Whether it was river or ocean cruising, road trips throughout the U.S.A., an African safari, a hike through the Amazon Jungle, or any other kind of adventure, they were always looking for new places to explore, new people to meet, new cultures and foods to experience – and always together.

And if they were not off on a travel adventure, they were making their own adventure with their kids and grandkids. Lauris was ‘Pops’ to his three grandchildren, a name that was very special to him because it is what he called his own grandfather. Nothing could bring a smile to his face quicker than a picture, or FaceTime or visit with the three little cherubs. The joy on his face was there for anyone to see. Living so far away from the kids and grandkids in Wisconsin was too hard, so Lauris and Maureen finally purchased a small condo to make frequent visits easier. The grandchildren moved right in and were at home before the condo was even furnished.

Lauris loved his time with his children also. From the time Maurae and Justin were small until they grew up with families of their own, he loved being a part of their lives. As they grew, he loved sharing his knowledge and experience with them and wanted to be involved in whatever interested either of them. When Maurae and Justin each married, he welcomed their partners into the family as his own and cherished the expansion of his family! His love for his family was unconditional, powerful, and complete. Whether passing on his “handyman-fix anything” skills, his technology brilliance, or his finesse in the kitchen, he loved sharing and doing all of it together with his family. Lauris loved his family always and in all ways. Lauris loved photography and took great pride in capturing the beauty around him. He was rarely without a camera in hand, in a pocket, hanging from his shoulder or all three. And he was always ready to capture the moment and preserve life through his pictures. He even developed skills at restoring older photographs so he could capture and preserve as much of the family history as possible. And he shared those skills helping others preserve their history, too.

Prior to his retirement, Lauris worked at Assurant Health in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for over thirteen years. As with everything else, he put his whole self into it. He was loved and respected by his colleagues at all levels. It was a sad time for all when Assurant Health closed its doors in 2017, but Lauris stayed to the end to “turn off the lights and close the doors”. It was hard to say good-by to a company that had provided not only a very satisfying career, but also friends he would cherish for the rest of his life.

Lauris touched so many lives wherever he went. He could carry on a conversation with anyone and was always able to put others at ease, no matter the situation. His quick wit and sense of humor would have everyone laughing, and could he tell a story! You never knew how much of the story was fact and how much fiction, but you would be engaged in everything he had to say! And the smile he would get when he was teasing you will never be forgotten.

Lauris loved and was loved, and he will forever be missed.

A gathering to celebrate Lauris’s life will be held this summer.

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