Laurie Nelson

Laurie Ruth Nelson was born on August 17, 1959 to Eugene Bernard Nelson and Doris Mae Thorpe, in Vancouver, Washington. Moving to Fremont, Nebraska at the age of 3, Laurie spent her formative years attending school there. With her mother and father both music educators, Laurie grew up performing in college and community theatre productions, as well as singing in churches and in her family's musical group "Those Nelson Kids" as they toured the U.S. during the summers of 1972 and 1973. Laurie spent the summer of 1976 in Estes Park, Colorado doing summer stock theatre. In the fall of that same year, Laurie moved to Washington State with her family to complete her senior year of high school, and received her diploma at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Laurie Nelson was crowned Miss Pierce County 1977 in Tacoma, Washington. She then went on to win the Bob Hope Search for the Top in Collegiate Talent, and appeared with Bob Hope on the Merv Griffin Show, singing with Merv's band, as well as singing with Bob in other appearances. She also worked on stage with Alan Sues (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) and with Morey Amsterdam (The Dick VanDyke Show). In June of 1978, Laurie Nelson was crowned Miss Washington. She became 4th Runner-Up to Miss America 1979 and was invited to tour with the Miss America USO Troupe that same year. They toured Germany and Iceland, entertaining the U.S. troops and their families.

Laurie then went on to co-create award winning elementary school assembly programs for the cities of Tacoma and Spokane, WA which were the kick-off for their city-wide recycling programs. Laurie wrote and recorded a children's music album called "EarthSongs"...22 songs for kids focusing on environmental awareness.

She also worked for five years with Seattle television station KCPQ-FOX13, as their Director of Kids Affairs, acting as on-air hostess for their children's daily programming, as well as producing and hosting other family programming. Laurie also co-hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon each year, helping to raise thousands of dollars to assist those with muscular dystrophy.

Retiring from television, Laurie accepted a position as Executive Director and Event Producer for the Seattle-based non-profit organization, Warrior Spirit, and served as a volunteer in this role for twelve years.


Laurie also served as Development and Marketing Director for Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington for two years. Wilderness Awareness School is a national not-for-profit environmental education organization, dedicated to caring for the earth and our children by fostering understanding and appreciation of nature, community and self.

Now known as Laurie Nelson Alexander, she currently lives with her husband Jeff Alexander in Snohomish, Washington. Laurie has six children, and three beautiful grandchildren. She is an alumna of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and is currently attending Bastyr University pursuing licensure as a mental health counselor and registered dietician.

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Comments (9)
1. 18-09-2009 21:58
 
This was so great to see about Laurie Nelson. She was so very talented and I was one of her biggest fans. I was the Executive Director of the Miss Grays Harbor Scholarship Pageant for 6 years in Grays Harbor County. I bought and owned the 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam, WA in 1978. I saved it from being turned in to a parking lot and from the wrecking ball. The City wanted to tear it down. I gave up my home and lived in the dressing rooms of the theatre as I began restoration on it and got it put on the National Historical Register and now no one can ever touch it or ruin it. It was one of the first atmospheric theatres built by the Fox chain in 1928 at the cost of $178,000.00. It takes up a quarter of a city block in the center of downtown Hoquiam and has 5 remtal shops that encompass it. It has near perfect accoustics and is decorated in the motiff of a Spanish garden with silk trees lining the upper walls and a blue plaster suspended dome ceiling that has stars that twinkle when the lights are dimmed. When the house lights go down (in shades of yellow to orange to red to blue to dark blue fading to darkness (as the sunset) it is as if you are sitting out under the open sky with an array of stars twinkling overhead. With the sky darkened the theatrics were to create a scene so dark that you could not determine depth perception of the ceiling and it was as if you were staring up into a far away sky and galaxies. 
 
I had heard of Laurie Nelson when she was crowned Miss Washington and invited her to come to our pageant to perform a couple of vocals during the pagenat and to give the contestants inspiration. When you heard her majestic voice that filled this atmospheric theatre, it was as if you were transported beyond all time and spce. It was if she was performing under the stars in a beautiful Spanish Garden and with the outstnding accoustics her voice soared to fill the room and bring everyone to their feet for multiple curtain calls. It was so successful, and the people of the Harbor (Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Montesano, McCleary, Westport, Ocean Shores, Elma, etc) demanded that I bring her back the following year, which Laurie graciously accepted and performed again. There were the usual rave revues and standing ovations in a packed theatre (1100 seating capacity, arranged in stadium elevated seating...so there was not a bad seat in the house!) 
 
I am so thankful for Laurie Nelson and her huge natural and trained talent that she had in the vocal arena. She could mesmerize an audience, and leave them hanging on to the last note, only in anticipation that hoping it it would never end. She had a stage presence that would light up the darkest of rooms and when she smiled and opened her mouth to sing, from the first note she captivated the audience and had them in the palm of her hand! 
 
Laurie, if you read this, I want to send you my love and prayers for that special talent that you yourself were only capable of sharing with others as you so graciously did. You had such a hectic schedule, (running all over the state for appearances), but you would always make time for us and agree to accomodate us in furthuring the Miss America Scholarship Pageant by being able to somehow fit in the time to come down to Grays Harbor and perform for our local pageant. You always inspired the young women that were the contestants, and you proved to us that volunteered to serve these young women in the pageant that all the time and dedication was well worth every drop of sweat and blood that was donated to be able to bring these young women scholarship dollars to furthur their eduacation and become all that they could be. 
 
Sending you and your family my love and prayers, 
 
Robert 
Past Executive Director 
Miss Grays Harbor Scholarship Pageant 1974-1980
Guest
 
2. 18-09-2009 22:08
 
This is a corrected version of the above. I am sorry that it got sent with mistakes (pushed the wrong button)...Please forgive me...but the content is well worth sharing with others! 
 
This was so great to see about Laurie Nelson. She was so very talented and I was one of her biggest fans. I was the Executive Director of the Miss Grays Harbor Scholarship Pageant for 6 years in Grays Harbor County. I bought and owned the 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam, WA in 1978. I saved it from being turned in to a parking lot and from the wrecking ball. The City wanted to tear it down. I gave up my home and lived in the dressing rooms of the theatre as I began restoration on it and got it put on the National Historical Register and now no one can ever touch it or ruin it. It was one of the first atmospheric theatres built by the Fox chain in 1928 at the cost of $178,000.00. It takes up a quarter of a city block in the center of downtown Hoquiam and has 5 rental shops that encompass it. It has near perfect acoustics and is decorated in the motif of a Spanish garden with silk trees lining the upper walls and a blue plaster suspended dome ceiling that has stars that twinkle when the lights are dimmed. When the house lights go down (in shades of yellow to orange to red to blue to dark blue fading to darkness (as the sunset) it is as if you are sitting out under the open sky with an array of stars twinkling overhead. With the sky darkened the theatrics were to create a scene so dark that you could not determine depth perception of the ceiling and it was as if you were staring up into a far away sky and galaxies. 
 
I had heard of Laurie Nelson when she was crowned Miss Washington and invited her to come to our pageant to perform a couple of vocals during the pageant and to give the contestants inspiration. When you heard her majestic voice that filled this atmospheric theatre, it was as if you were transported beyond all time and space. It was if she was performing under the stars in a beautiful Spanish Garden and with the outstanding acoustics her voice soared to fill the room and bring everyone to their feet for multiple curtain calls. It was so successful, and the people of the Harbor (Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Montesano, McCleary, Westport, Ocean Shores, Elma, etc) demanded that I bring her back the following year, which Laurie graciously accepted and performed again. There were the usual rave revues and standing ovations in a packed theatre (1100 seating capacity, arranged in stadium elevated seating...so there was not a bad seat in the house!) 
 
I am so thankful for Laurie Nelson and her huge natural and trained talent that she had in the vocal arena. She could mesmerize an audience, and leave them hanging on to the last note, only in anticipation that hoping it would never end. She had a stage presence that would light up the darkest of rooms and when she smiled and opened her mouth to sing, from the first note she captivated the audience and had them in the palm of her hand! 
 
Laurie, if you read this, I want to send you my love and prayers for that special talent that you yourself were only capable of sharing with others as you so graciously did. You had such a hectic schedule, (running all over the state for appearances), but you would always make time for us and agree to accommodate us in furthering the Miss America Scholarship Pageant by being able to somehow fit in the time to come down to Grays Harbor and perform for our local pageant. You always inspired the young women that were the contestants, and you proved to us that volunteered to serve these young women in the pageant that all the time and dedication was well worth every drop of sweat and blood that was donated to be able to bring these young women scholarship dollars to further their education and become all that they could be. 
 
Sending you and your family my love and prayers, 
 
Robert 
Past Executive Director 
Miss Grays Harbor Scholarship Pageant 1974-1980
Guest
 
3. 06-11-2010 09:00
 
Robert...what sweet words of yours, thank you. Are you still out there?
Guest
 
4. 03-12-2010 01:53
 
Laurie - I was one of the kids who filmed Earthsongs, from Purdy Elementary School. I was looking to find a copy of this show as well as the Christmas songs we recorded for Q13 in the early 90's. Could you help in this endeavor?
Guest
 
5. 16-12-2010 18:28
 
Hi Allen...I remember you, of course! I do have Earthsongs in my archives, and I believe the Christmas songs as well. We have just moved, so everything is still packed tightly in boxes. As we go through every box, I will look for all these wonderful old recordings. Please do send me your email address so we can stay in touch! 
:)
Guest
 
6. 02-06-2012 21:52
 
i have thought about you for many years im very happy to read about all your ventures.hope you forgive me for how i acted many years ago. im a very differnt person today i have two sons jacob 25 & justin 22 both are doing great. i rember bob hope search like it was yesterday. i still cant beleave that old subaru got us all the way to montana & back . i would love to hear from you mike. dms565@hotmail.com or 253-670-6091
Guest
 
7. 07-06-2012 15:59
 
Sorry been so long, I have moved a few times and lost track of this page. My email is dallenr2@gmail.com
Guest
 
8. 11-07-2012 21:56
 
Hi Laurie, 
Wondering if Warrior Spirit is still up and running? I can't seem to find the web site.  
 
Russ
Guest
 
9. 10-08-2012 18:37
 
Can anyone find Ms. Nelson? Sher Patrick, Miss Ohio, violated the pageant rules and was not “legally” eligible to compete in the competition and should have been disqualified. Ms. Nelson actually finished as 3rd runner up and not 4th. She is entitled to her proper title and compensation. Someone must find her and notify her. She should also know that a pageant official is aware of this cheating and has, thus far, done nothing to remedy the situation. I have the proof.
Guest
 

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