Lael T. Larkin

Lael Theresa Larkin, 75, passed away on May 8, 2021, at St. Dominic Villa at Sinsinawa, following a 6-week battle with cancer. A gathering will be held from 2 to 4 PM, Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the Furlong Funeral Chapel, Galena, IL. The funeral mass will be 11 AM, Monday, June 7, 2021, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Hazel Green, WI officiating will be Fr. Dan Davis. A committal service will be held in Calvary Cemetery, Sioux City, IA at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, officiated by Deacon Fred Karpuk.

Daughter of Philip and Eileen (McGrane) Larkin, Lael was born on October 27th, 1945, in Sioux City, IA. Her parents were the proprietors of the Larkin Funeral Homes. She shared her childhood with her eight siblings, Shaun, Michael, Maureen, Gene, Kevin, Kerry, Robert (Dennis), and Padraic. She attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary and graduated from Bishop Heelan Catholic High School in 1963. She went on to complete her nurse’s training at Saint Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in 1967. Lael was married to Daniel C. Smith from 1972-1977, and they had three “wonderful children” (as she always said). She practiced nursing in a variety of settings including mental health, chemical dependence recovery, and nursing homes. She worked in multiple cities including Minneapolis, MN; Dubuque, IA; Sioux City, IA; Steamboat Springs, CO and Sioux Falls, SD. She spent the largest portion of her nursing career as the Director of Nursing at the Good Samarian Village in Sioux Falls, SD. She moved to Hazel Green, WI, in 2007, and resided at the Academy Senior Apartments in Sinsinawa for the past 12 years.

Lael was an exceptionally loving mother, grandmother, sister, nurse, and friend. She had an unabated passion for caring for others, and she left a tremendous impression on those whose lives she touched. The size of her heart was felt in her beautiful smile, her infectious laugh, and her comforting hugs. She loved to tell stories, and she took great joy in the successes of her children and grandchildren. She loved attending sporting events, musical performances, plays, and graduations. She was a prolific writer. Additionally, her spirituality and faith were endless. As a nurse, Lael appreciated the wisdom that came with age and the dignity that is deserved with illness and vulnerability. She was immersed in the often difficult balance of maintaining a successful career and being a single mother, while still providing leadership and compassion to her patients and colleagues. Somehow, throughout the trials of life and the illness she battled, Lael was always able to demonstrate courage, faith, compassion, and an ever-present sense of humor. She will be missed terribly, but her love and light will carry on indefinitely through her family and friends.

Lael is survived by her three children: Rebecca Kruse (Chad) of Galena, IL; David Smith (Hillary Howard) of Denver, CO; Barbara Smith (Marc Ternes) of San Marcos, CA; and her nine grandchildren: Evan, Ellis, Claire, Cole, Nixon, Eli, Orly, Rocky, and Tali. In lieu of flowers, Lael requested that all memorials are given to Hospice of Dubuque @

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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