In Memoriam: A Tribute to Laura Kruskal

The first time I met Laura Kruskal was at the inaugural Centerfold Origami Convention in 2010. I immediately sensed that I had befriended someone of immense importance. Besides learning she was the daughter-in-law of Lillian Oppenheimer, I could tell she was a treasure trove of origami wisdom and experience. I always loved listening to her stories from her past, about her late husband, Martin David Kruskal, and living abroad. I always made it a point to soak up as much as I could during our time together. She always expressed a genuine interest in those around her with her warm and inviting presence, and so we became fast convention buddies from there on out.

It was hard to miss Laura, proudly sporting the year’s convention crown and bedazzled to the nines with origami bling. She always was the best dressed person in the room!

Besides being a sincere and kind-hearted friend, Laura inspired me tremendously as a teacher. I was always amazed by the endless repertoire of models that she could instruct in one sitting, all from memory, often all deviating from a single base. She would preface her lesson with “What can you do with a paper canoe?”, continuing on with endless variations and often accompanying her instruction with poetry. Her tried and true teaching principles resonate with me to this day. Laura championed the quest to make folding models as accessible to people young and old, even crafting her approach in order to ensure that origami could be accessible to the visually impaired.

I am truly honored to have known Laura and to call her a friend, and will forever cherish the time we spent together. I can still hear how she would call everyone darling! She will be sorely missed.