Laura Cody McNaughton, 1982 – 2018

Laura Cody McNaughton
Laura Cody McNaughton, 1982 – 2018. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Laura Cody McNaughton, daughter of Thornton S. Cody and Ruth F. Cody and wife of Ethan McNaughton, tragically passed away in an automobile accident on the morning of June 28, 2018.

Laura and Ethan are the proud parents of two sons, Isaac Cody McNaughton and Gaelen Tredway McNaughton, aged 8 and 3. She was first and foremost a devoted mother. Despite her many worldly accomplishments, none compare to her beautiful children. Her friendly and sincere nature, open mind, willing ear, passionate advocacy against prejudice and injustice, and kind heart touched an ever widening circle of friends, colleagues, and family. She is sorely missed by all that knew her.

Laura was born June 8, 1982 in Baltimore, Md. and moved with her parents to Springfield, Vt. in 1986. At age 4, she began ballet lessons at the Dance Factory, a love she continued to the present.

She graduated from Springfield High School as valedictorian of the class of 2000. She was active in a variety of school and community organizations and was an integral part of the group that founded the modern Post Prom activities at SHS, which continue on nearly two decades later. She was an avid member of the concert band and an athlete on the cross country and track teams. Throughout her life, she ran trail and road races with family and friends, and was actively training for her first full-length marathon.

Laura attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where she developed her own major in public health and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2004. In furtherance of public health, she spent her entire junior year divided between Grenoble, France and Cameroon, West Africa. Working with truck drivers and others, she sought to understand the transmission of the HIV virus within the Cameroonian population. During her summer break she became an EMT serving in Rockingham. She received a master’s degree from the Boston University School of Public Health in 2006.

After a decade of dating she and her best friend and soulmate were engaged in Acadia Nation Park. She married Ethan McNaughton in 2007. The couple lived in Boston, where Laura held a series of public health positions, volunteered with HIV and domestic violence hotlines, and trained as a doula.

In 2012 Laura’s young family moved back to Vermont where she quickly reestablished her connections with a variety of community organizations. She worked with the Vermont Department of Health assisting community groups throughout the region in preventing youth tobacco and substance abuse. Her talents were soon recognized and, despite her relative youth, she served as the District Director of the Vermont Department of Health, White River Junction office since 2013. She was a member of the Weathersfield School Board, the related Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union Board, and Holt Foundation Board in Saxtons River.

Laura is survived by her children, husband, parents, and her brother Daniel Cody. Her maternal grandparents, William and Bessie Fingerhut (née Levine) and paternal grandparents Thornton S. Cody Sr. and Harriet Cody (née Crosby) predeceased her.

A celebration of life will be held at the Weathersfield Meeting House on the afternoon of July 7 beginning at 2 p.m. Friends and colleagues are invited to join the family in sharing their fond memories.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice.

Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield is assisting with arrangements.

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