Laurilla Tennis

1933 - 2021


June 28, 2021 - 9:31 AM

Laurilla J. Tennis, age 87, went home to her heavenly family Thursday, June 24, 2021, at Anderson County Hospital Residential Living Center, Garnett.

Laurilla was born Aug. 9, 1933, to Edwin Fursman and Fannie (Hufferd) Fursman at her Grandmother Fursman’s home in rural Allen County. She attended DeWitt and Onion Creek rural schools and graduated from Humboldt High School in 1951. She attended Neosho County Community College for 1½ years and lived with an aunt in Chanute while going to college. During college she worked as a nurse’s aide at Neosho Memorial Hospital, and while taking care of his sister, met Merle C. Tennis, the love of her life. Laurilla and Merle were married Sept. 6, 1953, in Humboldt. He preceded her in death Sept. 17, 2012.

While growing up, Laurilla enjoyed fishing in ponds and working in the fields with her dad. Laurilla loved working in the field with Merle and taking care of their horses and cattle. When she and Merle lived in the country, Laurilla raised chickens and milked a cow and made butter and cottage cheese. When they moved back to town, and after the loss of their son, Bryan, in 1965, Laurilla operated a daycare out of their home for over 40 years. The children all called her “Mi Mi.” Laurilla also enjoyed crocheting and making quilts. She also did many crafts with the children in her daycare. She was active in First Presbyterian Church and taught Bible study for many years.

In addition to her parents and husband, Laurilla was preceded in death by sons Bryan and David; and her brother Carl Fursman. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Shirley Fursman; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, June 29, at 10:30 a.m., at Countryside Funeral Home in Chanute, with a private burial at a later time at Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials have been suggested to the Neosho County Community College Merle and Laurilla Tennis Scholarship Fund, and may be mailed to or left with the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at:


January 21, 2021
October 6, 2020
November 9, 2015
September 19, 2012