Laura Jonas

Friday, May 31, 2019

Artist Laura Louise Jonas, 35, of New Hampton, died unexpectedly Wednesday, April 3, 2019, in her home from sudden heart arrhythmia.

Laura was born on June 23, 1983, in Le Mars, to Jean (Hagen) Jonas and Bradley Peter Jonas. In 1991, her family moved to Ames, where she spent most of her life. In 2011, she married Matthew Mize in Boone.

While a child and teenager, Laura explored her creativity in many areas including music, writing, sewing, fashion design, photography, and painting. During high school, she felt very grateful to be able to take summer classes at Iowa State University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Laura graduated Ames High School a semester early and attended Portfolio Days in Chicago where she was accepted into three art schools: Rhode Island School of Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Kansas City Art Institute.

Laura enrolled at KCAI in the fall of 2001 but soon had to withdraw because of mental health problems. During the next few years, she completed classes at Iowa State University in photography and creative writing. She was especially proud of these accomplishments. Laura liked being active in educational communities; one of her aspirations in life was to earn a college degree.

As an adult, Laura focused on photography and painting. When her health was manageable, Laura was prolific. She carried out six art exhibitions within only a few years and fulfilled her dream of having her own studio. Besides being passionate about the arts, Laura liked to explore by taking long drives in her car and walks in nature. She loved traveling throughout the country especially along the west coast.

Laura is survived by her mom, Jean; brothers Joseph and Adam; sister-in-law Rachel; nephew Cedar; niece Skye; and her special friend, Matt.

Loving aunts and uncles who survive her are Carol Hagen, Louise Hagen and Janet Alexander, Sue and Gale Lane, Jim and Lisa Jonas, Jon and Joy Hagen, and Pat and Pauline Jonas.

Laura treasured good times with her cousins and their families: Phil (Laurie) Hagen, Lisa Ahern, Jennifer (Jeff) Eickelmann, Jennifer (Chuck) Fink, Rebecca Nore, John (Susan) Hagen, Paul (Adria) Jonas, Anna Jonas, Katherine Jonas, Kate Hagen, Ted Hagen, Eric Hagen, Dan Hagen, Michelle Jonas, Rob Jonas, Eric Jonas, Liam Murphy, and Conor (Elsa McCargar) Murphy.

Preceding Laura in death are her father Bradley Jonas; uncle, Christopher Hagen and grandparents Clarence and Joyce Hagen and Aloysius and Clarice Jonas.

Laura lived with severe mental illness; she struggled through multiple diagnoses during her lifetime and it played a significant role in her health care. In the spirit of helping others in need, memorial contributions may be given in Laura’s name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Iowa at namici.org or mailed to 416 Douglas Ave. #203, Ames, Iowa 50010.

A memorial fund has also been established in Laura’s name at Ledges State Park for conservation and enhancement of the Lost Lake Interpretive Trail. This was Laura’s favorite place to go to for fun, exercise, relaxation, and peace of mind. Donations may be made to Ledges State Park and sent in care of Park Manager, Ledges State Park Office, 1515 P Ave., Madrid, Iowa 50156.

A memorial service will be held in conjunction with an exhibit of Laura’s artwork on Saturday, June 22, at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames. The service will begin at 2 p.m., and include time for all to share their memories of Laura. Visitation will follow until 4 p.m.