Obituary | Laura Sue Dodson of Plummer, Minnesota

Laura Sue Dodson
Laura Sue Dodson

Plummer, Minnesota – Laura Sue Dodson returned to God peacefully at a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, on December 7, 2022, at age 86. Her loving family was with her during her last hospital stay and held her hand at the time of her death.

A Memorial Service will be held on December 21st at 1 pm at Johnson’s Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Cemetery in rural Oklee, MN.

Laura was born October 5, 1936, in Dallas, Texas, to Thomas Hal Dodson and Mildred Julia Dunbar Dodson. She was the second child; her brother Tom had arrived two years earlier. Laura began elementary school in Dallas. In 1945, the year she turned age 9, the family moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, just west of Dallas, so that her father could be nearer his work at North American Aviation. In 1946, a sister, Gay Dodson was born.

In 1969, Laura married George Anthony Cronin; he died in 1975. In the year 2000, she married Royce Delmer Forsyth; he died in 2007. As a single person, she adopted two children-in 1978, Jonathan Anthony at 4 days old (born in Denver) and 1983, Corina Catherine at age 3 (born in Peru).

Laura graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1954. That year she entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where, in 1958, she earned a BA in Education, Psychology, and History. In 1961, she received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver. In 1975, she received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Union Graduate School. Her dissertation, Family Therapy: A System Approach, was published in 1977. She was a visiting professor at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver for the 1983-84 school year.

From 1961 to 1969 she was a full-time Psychiatric Social Worker for Fort Logan Mental Health Center in Denver. In 1967, she began a private practice as a Jungian Psychologist in Denver. That practice lasted until semi-retirement some 40 years later. Dr. Dodson always had a sympathetic ear for everyone, wanting to do her best to help. She was quite well-respected in her profession and conducted many conferences in the U.S. and abroad, was the author of Psyche and Family, and of several published professional articles. She led the Satir Family Camp in California for over two decades, working with other therapists to bring healing using concepts introduced by her close friend and mentor Virginia Satir.

In her work abroad, she especially loved working with people suffering from the ravages of war. She was the founder of the Institute for International Connections in 1988 which continues today. She led cross-cultural camps in the former Soviet Union outside Moscow with persons from 12 nations. In the past 20 years, she traveled multiple times to Azerbaijan and Thailand training other therapists. Laura always said that her passion lay in carrying psychology out of the office into cultural healing concepts and applications.

When she wasn’t running through airports, she spent the winters in Round Rock, Texas, with her sister Gay, and for the balance of the year made her residence in Plummer, Minnesota. She loved to travel and spend time with her family and friends. She was terrible at small talk, but wonderful at BIG talk and getting to the heart of things.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors are son, Jonathan (Kelly) Dodson and their children Jack and Lyla all of Plummer, Minnesota, and daughter, Corina (Scott) Villani and their children Scott, Jr., Veronica, and Giada all of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Also, sister, Gay Dodson, of Round Rock, Texas, and brother, Tom (Jean) Dodson of Fort Worth, Texas, and their children, Karen (Joe) Arrington also of Fort Worth; Kathy (Stan) Taylor of Van Zandt County, Texas; and Brian (Mary) Dodson of Austin, Texas. In addition, there are 5 grandnephews, one grandniece, three great-grandnephews, and one great-grandniece.