Laura Rose Roehler-Carmean

April 12, 1937 - March 14, 2024
Traverse City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Laura Rose Roehler-Carmean, 86, of Traverse City, Michigan left this earth much too soon on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

After graduating as Salutatorian from Clarkston High School, class of 1955, Laura went on to earn three degrees from Michigan State University (B.A. in Elementary Education - 1968 /M.A. in Education - 1969 /Ph.D. in Elementary Education - 1972) all while raising four young children as a widowed, single parent.

Laura taught as a middle school teacher for several years until earning her Ph.D. and joining the faculty of the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University, where she led an innovative field-based teacher education program. Laura’s unparalleled strength and determination fueled her teacher education work, leading multiple research teams in studies of teacher decision making. Her research led to numerous presentations, over many years, at conferences including the National Reading Conference and the American Educational Research Association, multiple publications in national research journals, and authoring/co-authoring volumes of research and numerous textbooks on reading comprehension, reading strategies and teacher education.

As part of Michigan State’s Overseas Masters Program, she taught international school teachers in many countries around the world including Thailand, Germany, France, and Japan. In 2002, the International Reading Association awarded her with one of its most prestigious honors: the Outstanding Teacher Education in Reading Award.

Laura’s distinguished career was multifaceted, teaching many courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, developing and implementing courses and educational programs throughout Michigan, receiving awards for her groundbreaking research and serving on various review boards for many professional journals. While Laura was widely recognized as an inspiring professor and outstanding researcher, many of her former students remember her particularly for her welcoming smile and her gentle, insightful and sensitive mentoring.

Aside from all of Laura’s professional achievements and recognitions, she was most proud of her family and cherished the time she spent with them. She designed her life to spend her years after retirement with her family; she loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchild more than anything and treasured every moment she spent with them. She led by example, teaching everyone around her to love with everything they had, caring for everyone she met like they were part of her family, giving to those in need and sharing what she had, and learning something new every day. Laura firmly believed that life was meant to be spent learning and embraced whatever life threw at her, molding her into the amazing woman she was.

Laura is survived by her four children Danise (Bob) Cantlon, Christopher (Rebecca) Roehler, Kathy Roehler-Hacker and Byrch (Yvonne) Roehler, 13 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, her twin brother Larry Ruggles, her sister Donna Scott, her husband Vern Carmean, and was predeceased by her parents Ray and Wilma Ruggles, her sister Carolyn (Gary) Litzman, her sister in law Anna (Larry) Ruggles and her brother in law Ray (Donna) Scott.