Cover photo for LaRee Michelle Udris (nee Stegner)'s Obituary

LaRee Michelle Udris (nee Stegner)

July 3, 1954 — April 19, 2024

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

LaRee Michelle Udris (nee Stegner)

            “I will wait for you, If I should fall behind, you wait for me.”

LaRee Udris was born July 3, 1954, in Baker, Montana, and died April 19, 2024, in Denver, Colorado. She grew up on a cattle ranch, the SL. The ranch was four miles north of Rhame, North Dakota in Slope County, one of the least populated counties in the US. She loved everything nature. She gazed at starlight western night skies and ran through windblown prairies. In the spring she looked forward to crocus peeking through the snow-covered hills, watching the newborn calves nurse and holding the recent batch of kittens hiding in the hay bales. She could ride horse bareback and milk a cow, spent her childhood days searching for Indian arrowheads in the gulches and box canyons. A favorite activity was singing with her dad while riding together in the truck, both had great voices.

Always adventurous, she spent ten days portaging the Minnesota Boundary Waters. She thought nothing of hitchhiking 400 miles (more than once), but that did eventually result in a car at Christmas. She learned how to water ski on the lakes of Minnesota and snow ski in Colorado. In her 60’s she learned golf well enough
to get two holes in one.

She always wanted to do for others. If someone was sick or needed help, she was there. At 16 she spent her summer volunteering at the Grafton State School working with disabled children. At 17 and 18, she did the same in Minneapolis at the St David’s Center. She graduated from the University of North Dakota with honors in three years. Upon graduation, she married Jake, and they began their new life together in Jamestown, ND.

She was the first one up and the last one to bed. Always quick to laugh, she had an infectious sense of humor and a positive outlook on life. When times got tough, she could dig deep both mentally and physically. She exercised 6 days a week and kept those around her equally active. She loved to dance, and sometimes quit when the sun came up. She loved hiking and exploring the nation’s parks, from Kentucky to California and Arizona to Washington. In 2015 she went to Africa to see the animals and their land; she would have
liked to go back for the great migration. She would get the family up at 2 AM to see the moon or its eclipse and always looked forward to another view of the Northern Lights.

 Most of all she was a mother. Aleks was born in Minnesota (’78), followed by Ingrid (’82) in Wisconsin and Karl (’89) in Kentucky. She was a lioness when it came to looking out for her cubs, but she knew when to let them go. She said without love, a house is not a home, and she had a lot of love to give, at times in the tough love format. She enjoyed entertaining in her home, always looking forward to Bunco evenings and Book Club. She particularly liked Christmas; her eggnog would knock Martha Stewart off her feet. She made every house a home, but her forever home was the Stegner Ranch. The wide-open spaces left an independent and self- sufficient imprint on her never to be erased. She liked to do things for herself.

She valued integrity and honesty in those around her. She meant what she said and expected others to do likewise. She was loyal to her friends and her school, always looking forward to the Rhame School reunion and a reason to go back to Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. She would never refuse a fine whiskey or Cordon Bleu nightcap before going to sleep. 

She will be buried in ND with her parents and grandparents, with ashes spread on the hill overlooking the ranch. When the time comes, Jake will join her there. She leaves behind three children: Aleks, Ingrid Calvert and her husband Evan, Karl and his wife Kirstin, and daughter Isla. She is also survived by her husband Aivar (Jake) Udris, sisters LaVon Amlee, Jo Ann Reeter, Melinda Stegner, and her brother Ronald Holecek. She also leaves behind her brother and sister-in-law, Andi and Cindy Udris, as well as uncles and aunts, nephews, and nieces.

Special Thanks to all the people at Highline Place, who loved her dearly.

A Celebration of Life will be at the house, 9545 Harford Court, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126, on Friday, June 14th from 11:30 - 3:30 PM.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaRee Michelle Udris (nee Stegner), please visit our flower store.

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, June 14, 2024

11:30am - 3:30 pm (Mountain time)

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