Laura Ann Knowles, 57, died at her home in the care of family and friends on September 5, 2008, from stomach cancer. She was born in Gloversville, NY, on May 30, 1951. She graduated from Albany Medical Center School of Nursing in 1973 and then from Frontier Nursing School, Hyden, Kentucky, trained as both a Certified Nurse Midwife and a Family Nurse Practitioner. She started The Elizabeth Blackwell Women's Health Center at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, in 1979. She also delivered babies at the Booth Maternity Center in Philadelphia, PA, the Bryn Mawr Birth Center, and provided homebirths for the Amish community in Lancaster County.
She continued her midwifery and family nursing in Concord, while balancing career with her love of motherhood and community. She worked at the Hitchcock Clinic in Nashua, NH, from 1993 to 2000, then became a founding partner of Full Circle Midwifery Service in 2000 at St Joseph's Hospital, Nashua, NH. She delivered over 3,000 babies in her career and had a special touch with teenage mothers. The NH Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives honored her with a Certificate of Appreciation. Since 2006 she worked at the Concord Feminist Health Center in Concord, NH, and at the Doctor's Office, in Manchester, NH.
She is survived by her daughter, Melia, 28, and son, Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin, 25, and her husband, David Coursin, all presently of Concord, NH; her mother, Julia Wait Knowles of Gloversville, NY; her sister, Pat Viola of Wells, NY; her brother, David Knowles of Lake Luzerne, NY; her brother, Richard Knowles of Gloversville, NY; and by her lucky dog, Spenser.
Her public memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord, 274 Pleasant St, Concord, NH, on Saturday, 9/13/2008 at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, cards, or gifts, please make memorial contributions to the New Hampshire Women's Health Services/CFHC, 38 South Main St, Concord, NH, 03301.