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.