Lory LaPointe, beloved educator and therapist, died peacefully Saturday, April 24, 2021,
at her home in Vermillion, South Dakota, surrounded by her two sons, after living undeterred with a glioblastoma diagnosis for 26 months. She was 73.
Lory was born Loralee Ann Lavelle, March 14, 1948, in Fargo, North Dakota, to parents
James A. and Mary A. (née: Emmett) Lavelle. Lory graduated from the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1972 and an M.Ed. in Special Education in 1979. She was an instructor at Sinte Gleska College in Rosebud, SD (1980-82), Special Education Teacher at St. Francis Indian School in St.Francis, SD (1981-82), School Psychologist at Mid-Central Cooperative in Platte, SD (1985-89),
and Education Director at Woodfield Center School in Beresford, SD (1989-2002).
While working on her doctorate, Lory was a GED Instructor for Southeast Job Link in
Vermillion, SD (2003-05), and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 2006. She was Assistant Professor in the School of Education at USD until she retired in 2015, receiving the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching in 2014. After retirement, Lory embarked on a second career, receiving an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South Dakota State University in 2017, and was a Therapist at the Family Education & Counseling Center in Yankton, SD, through 2020.
Lory’s foremost passion was helping those with learning disabilities achieve their
academic goals. She loved quality time with family and friends, honest conversation, unleashing her wry wit, cleaning and organizing, people-watching, concert-going, anti-capital punishment activism, and her weekly phone calls with her granddaughter.
She is survived by her two sons, Aaron LaPointe (Shara) of Urbana, IL, and Toney
LaPointe of Vermillion, SD; one granddaughter, Ivie Kietzman of Urbana, IL; four brothers, Jack Lavelle of Little Cormorant, MN, Dan Lavelle (Kimberly) of Fort Collins, CO, Chuck Lavelle (Kristy) of Fort Collins, CO, and Andrew Lavelle of Seattle, WA; three sisters, Kari Stoner (Steve) of Fargo, ND, Margy Lavelle of Edison, WA, and Barb Houglum (Gregg) of Moorhead, MN; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James A. and Mary A. (née: Emmett) Lavelle of Fargo, ND, her brother, Jamie Lavelle (Jeanne) of Lebanon, OH, and her former spouse, Manley LaPointe of Fort Yates, ND.
A memorial will be announced at a later date. Memorials can be sent in Lory’s honor to
South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Special thanks to the Mayo Clinic, Avera McKennan Hospital, and Sanford Health
Hospice staff for their compassionate care.
Kober Funeral Home of Vermillion has been entrusted with the service. Condolences may be posted online to www.koberfuneralhome.com.