Date of Death: May 7, 2024

Service Details

A Rosary will be recited Friday, May 10, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers. A Catholic Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 645 S. Douglas Ave., Three Rivers. A luncheon will follow downstairs in the church. She will be laid to rest on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, N.J., where her dear husband Harry is buried.

Obituary Notice

Loved and cherished by her family and friends, Laurie McCawley Van Tassel, 94, passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at her Corey Lake home in Three Rivers, Michigan.

She was born November 4, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, the beloved and only daughter of Albert and Blanche (Helmholz) McCawley. Her early married years were spent raising a family with her husband, Harold G. Van Tassel, in Illinois and New Jersey. Once her loving husband, Harry, retired from a long career with Illinois Bell, New Jersey Bell, and finally AT&T, they divided their time between Corey Lake and Sarasota, Florida. After Harry passed away, Laurie decided to live full-time at Corey Lake.

A passionate art lover, Laurie earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from St. Mary’s of Notre Dame and went on to become an award winning artist and supporter of the arts. She was the President of the Summit Art Center in New Jersey as well as having served on the Board of the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. She extended her education taking graduate level classes at St. Elizabeth’s College in Convent Station in New Jersey as well as the New School in New York City.

Laurie was married to her sweet husband Harold G. Van Tassel for 50-plus years. Having met him on a blind date while on the campus of University of Notre Dame, it appeared to be love at first sight. Theirs was a match made in Heaven where they will happily be reunited.

Laurie loved animals; pets included her wonderful dog “Ollie” and her dear mini-pinscher “Lady.”

Remaining to cherish her memory are her children, Steven Van Tassel of Portage, Michigan, Laurie Victoria (Van Tassel) McGrath (“Vicki”) of Moneta, Virginia and her husband William A. McGrath, Theresa Ann Van Tassel of Three Rivers, Michigan, and Vincent Albert Van Tassel of Three Rivers, Michigan; grandchildren, T.J. Van Tassel, Joseph Van Tassel, Dominick Van Tassel, and London Van Tassel and their beloved mother Dianne Van Tassel, Christine Victoria McGrath Sage (husband Daniel Beedle Sage), Heather Jean McGrath Milburn (husband Douglas Milburn), and Allison Ann McGrath; great-grandchild, Violet Josephine Sage.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Van Tassel, in January 2009; parents, Blanche McCawley and Albert Shinners McCawley; beloved dogs, Ollie and Lady.

Additional Information

Flowers are welcome or, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Eberhart on Corey Lake or to St. Joseph County Animal Control. Envelopes will be available at the church and the funeral home.

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  1. Aunt Laurie was a dear lady, a gifted artist and she had such a wonderful sense of humor. I always looked forward to spending time with her and Uncle Harry and family. I will remember her as a kind, gentle soul who always had great stories to tell. I can picture the wonderful reunion with Uncle Harry in heaven.

  2. We are so sorry to hear about the loss of another wonderful Corey Lake friend. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Sandra, Curt, and Jennifer Chase

  3. Aunt Laurie was a wonderful woman who had a lovely smile. And she had a very contagious laugh – one that you couldn’t help laugh along with her! She always took a genuine interest in whatever you were doing, and loved lively conversation. I will cherish the memories of this very accomplished woman.

  4. My mother meant the world to me: a friend, a confidant, an accomplished artist with a sharp sense of humor, she was gentle, kind, and caring. She will be sorely missed, but happy her days of suffering have come to an end. She was one in a million and I was lucky to call her “Mom”

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