Laura was born to Steve & Carol Balius in Gordon NE on June 25, 1985, joining two older sisters. Laura lived and loved the western way of life from an early age, spending lots of time on the back of horses and in tractors before she could walk. She passed away on December 1, 2020.
Elementary school was completed at Cherry County rural schools. She graduated from Gordon High School in 2004 where she was active on the volleyball and basketball teams. She pursued a double major of Ag Business and Animal Science at South Dakota State University and graduated in December of 2007– tirelessly working 3 on-campus jobs and active within multiple organizations. She worked for JBS/Five Rivers Colorado Beef in Lamar, CO for several years before her love of the Sandhills pulled her home. She returned to the Balius ranch full time in 2010. Laura looked forward to every season on the ranch, but especially branding when she was able to work and socialize with neighbors and friends.
She loved good horses, good cattle, and wide open spaces. Laura was fiercely competitive and loved a challenge - which advanced from card games with her dad, to basketball, to being an incredible “Cattle Connoisseur”.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents Carl & Dorothy Nielsen and Chet & Louise Balius, and nephew Caleb Mills.
She is survived by her parents Steve & Carol, sisters Amber (Trent) Carroll and Karla (Andrew) Mills, nieces Ella & Nora Carroll and nephews Ethan & Wyatt Mills, and numerous relatives and friends throughout the country.
A memorial has been established in memory of Laura and will honor her love of western life. Donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held later in 2021.