Laura McKane Chioldi

Laura McKane Chioldi, AIA, age 48, died on February 2, 2019, in her Fayetteville home. Diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic breast cancer in 2003, Laura courageously lived with the disease, leading a productive, vibrant life with dignity and humor.

Born Laura Alice McKane in Hyannis, Massachusetts, she launched a love of nature as an infant on the beaches. Her family moved to Aurora, Illinois, where, as a young girl, she became a voracious reader, a travel enthusiast, and a dark chocolate fiend. These traits only intensified as an adult. Influenced by the horizontal lines of the Illinois landscape, and living in the shadows of Chicago’s rich architecture heritage, Laura developed a keen interest in architecture.

She attended West Aurora High School; and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned both a Bachelor and Master of Architecture.

Laura’s architecture career began in 1997 in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Fritz Baily Architects, where she served on the design team for Fire Station #7, and the Kendall-Whittier Library. Later at KKT Architects, she worked on Charles Page Library, and James Adams Elementary Library. Moving to Fayetteville in 2002, she was employed by the University of Arkansas’ Community Design Center. Next at Tucker Sadler Architects, Laura served as project manager for Seven Hills Transitional Housing in Fayetteville, and Shoppes at Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers. She also designed private residences in Minnesota, Illinois, and Arkansas. Remarkably, Laura achieved licensure and most of this work while being treated for cancer.

Laura enjoyed photography. Favorite subjects of hers were old buildings, barns, and all things in nature. She was an avid collector of mid-century furniture, often spending time searching for hidden treasures with friends and husband to decorate their mid-century home. Above all else, she delighted in laughter and conversation around a shared meal with family and friends.

We will remember Laura for her infectious smile; her beautiful blue eyes; her sense of wonderment and curiosity; her wit; and her inspirational grit and grace in the face of illness.

Laura is survived by husband, Ronald Chioldi of Fayetteville; mother, Maureen McKane of Aurora, Illinois; father, Joseph McKane of Batavia, Illinois; brother Michael McKane, and nephew, Ronan McKane of Chicago, Illinois.

A memorial service is planned at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville on Friday, March 15 at 4:00 p.m. Gifts in her memory can be made to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Her family thanks the staff at Highlands Oncology, Northwest Arkansas Neuroscience Institute, UAMS Neurosurgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago), and Circle of Life Hospice.

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Ken McCownSharai Friedman EggarJerry EllingtonKathyRudzinski Family Recent guestbook authors
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Christine N. Tredup
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Christine N. Tredup

Thank-you for sharing this wonderful tribute of Laura the person & spirit of engagement with her life.
I pray that you will experience comfort and peace during this intimate time.

Jeff Wall
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Jeff Wall

Love and condolences from the Northeastern State University Department of Music faculty, staff, and students.

Mim Smith
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Mim Smith

Sending love, admiration, and deepest sympathy.

Richard and Toni Olson
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Richard and Toni Olson

Our deepest sympathy. Hugs and love to Ron and the Mc Kane family!!

carson Smith
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carson Smith

I will never forget her wonderful laugh. I wish I had a recording of it. thinking of Ron and the family.

Nora Campbell
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Nora Campbell

I’ll always remember the early days in Tahlequah, meeting the newlyweds (?). Laura was so beautiful, those gorgeous blue eyes and her cool sense of style. Our family fell in love with yours. I’ll always remember how you both laughed at almost anything the kids said. They loved you both. Ron and family, we are so fortunate to have known Laura and we are so sorry for your great loss.

Will & Monica
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Will & Monica

Laura was one of most wonderful people we’ve ever known. She is missed deeply.

Lauren Flanigan
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Lauren Flanigan

Sending you condolences and much love from New York City. I only know your family through Michael. What a lovely tribute and how wonderful to follow your passion for nature through to be able to design and create the things that will share the horizon and landscape! I am truly sorry for your loss Ron. Truly. Sincerely, Lauren Flanigan

Christina Halas
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Christina Halas

Laura – I only knew you through the eyes of your dear auntie Ann. She adored you. You have touched her life so beautifully, and have touched ours through her stories about you. We Seattle people started praying for you from about the day you were diagnosed. I love what you’ve done with your life. Just wish it could have been longer!

Sending peaceful wishes to Laura’s family as your dear broken hearts so beautifully heal.

Jenny DeBell
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Jenny DeBell

Laura I will miss your sense of wonder, your kindness, your humor. You’ll be in our hearts forever.

Bob McKane
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Bob McKane

We talk about Laura as being a “light” person. That is one whose energy brings joy to those within her radius. She was that and full of inquisitiveness and humor. She will continue to be so in our hearts and minds.

Rudzinski Family
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Rudzinski Family

It is with sad revelation that I heard this news today. There are some people in life that have such a tenacity that you can sometimes make the erroneous assumption that they will last forever. Laura and her indomitable spirit were just like that. Our deepest sympathies to Ron and the rest of Laura’s family. We will think of her often and smile.

Russell Rudzinski, Yume Rudzinski and Family

Kathy
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Kathy

I only knew Laura during her final challenge in life and she handled it with a quiet courage and grace that I rarely witness. Ron is to be praised for his untiring care and deep love he showered on her. This family left a lasting impression on this nurse who is so blessed that they came my way.

Jerry Ellington
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Jerry Ellington

I worked with Laura at Benchmark Group in Rogers. I She was a super, caring and loving person, and I feel blessed that she was a small part of my life’s journey. Rest in Peace Laura!

Sharai Friedman Eggar
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Sharai Friedman Eggar

One of my oldest friends, we grew up together. I remember our matching Dorothy Hammil haircuts (can’t recall who had it first), weekly sleepovers, hanging out in my basement, and creating lots of art projects together. We each claimed our favorite animal (I think today we’d call it our “spirit animal”)—Laura’s was penguin, mine was rabbit, and we were pros at drawing and collecting them…Laura was always so self assured and was one of my best friends through high school. I am sorry we lost touch. My condolences to the McKane family.

Sharai Friedman Eggar
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Sharai Friedman Eggar

And condolences to the Chioldi family as well.

Ken McCown
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Ken McCown

I knew Laura in college during graduate school at the University of Illinois. I am heartbroken by this news, and even additionally so finding out this news of her passing by learning we ended up living in the same metro area. Laura was always a joy to be around, talk to, and laugh with. She made the trying times in studio much easier to make it through and brought a wonderful energy to any room her classmates shared with her. I find solace in the text above, knowing that others remember her for the same traits we valued in college… Read more »