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Obituary: Laurel Dunbar Coutts

Fri, Aug 12th 2022 11:00 am

Laurel Dunbar Coutts, who loved Lewiston, and considered it her hometown, died Aug. 4, 2022, in San Francisco, after an extended illness. She was 69.

A high-energy go-getter who loved numbers, Laurel outlived her original prognosis by a full three years, surprising her doctors at many junctures.

She was born Laurel Dunbar on Oct. 9, 1952, in Washington, D.C. Her parents, Milly Ann and Jack Douglass Dunbar, had moved from Ohio to D.C. when her father took a position at the Pentagon as an inventor.

Her early childhood was spent in rural Saratoga County in Ballston Lake. They also lived in Pennsylvania and Illinois. When Laurel was 11, the Dunbars relocated to Lewiston, where they put down lasting roots and shared their enthusiasm for music with the community.

A 1970 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School, Laurel started college at SUNY Stony Brook. After two years, she transferred to her alma mater, Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Laurel later earned an MBA with an emphasis on finance from SUNY Buffalo, also known as the University at Buffalo.

Laurel married Alfred McRobert Coutts Jr. of Lewiston in 1976. They moved to Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas for her career as a financial controller with the Occidental Chemical Division of Occidental Petroleum Corp. After 26 years with Oxy, in 2000, Laurel and her two children moved to San Francisco for the climate and its other famed attributes.

Preceding Laurel in death were her husband, Al; her daughter, Jessica Leigh; both parents; her sister, Heather Dunbar of Van Etten – near Ithaca; and her brothers: John Douglass Dunbar and Hal Davis Dunbar.

Survivors include her son, Alfred McRobert Coutts of Oakland; her sisters: Holly Dunbar Clare Beaudet of Newfield, and Leslie Garriott of Monrovia, California; her mother-in-law, Mary Coutts; and family in Lewiston.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a donation in Laurel’s memory are asked to give to the Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, 293 Irish Hill Road, Newfield, NY, 14867.

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