Sharon LaBuda
Sharon LaBuda

Obituary of Sharon Kae LaBuda

Sharon Kae LaBuda passed away December 26, 2023, in Lacey, Washington.  She was born June 30, 1951, to Mike and Evelin (Ophus) LaBuda in Big Sandy, Montana, where she lived until 1969.  She also resided in Havre, Montana (1970-1986), and Olympia, Washington (1987-2023).


Sharon attended and graduated high school in the Big Sandy Public School District.  She earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Northern Montana College in Havre (1974), followed by an M.Ed. in Career Guidance and Counseling (1980).  She also did graduate coursework in Adult and Higher Education at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She held Counselor and Career Counselor Certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors; Washington State Educational Staff Associate Counselor Certificate; and a Montana Teaching Certificate.


Professionally, Sharon was a Counselor at Timberline High School in the Thurston County School District from 1987 to her death in 2023. Previously, she was a Student Services Counselor/Instructor at Northern Montana College; a substitute math teacher and Special Education tutor in the Real World Education Program at Havre High School; and Field Learning Coordinator in the Experience-Based Career Education Program and District IV Human Resources Development Councilmember at Havre High School.


Sharon loved traveling, reading, sewing, baking, gardening, hiking, and shopping.  Her greatest love was for the students she dealt with.  Her love for her job with children was her favorite activity and her passion in life.  Her students and colleagues were her “Main Thing” and brought her much joy.  She also enjoyed attending the Ophus family reunions.


Sharon was funny, witty, loving, full of laughter, and very thoughtful. She was extremely hard-working, a driven woman almost to a fault.  She was dedicated and committed to serving others. Her membership and volunteer activities list is lengthy and revolves around her commitment to counseling high school and college students with personal, academic, career, and financial concerns.  An example is her efforts with the Bear Paw Youth Guidance Home in Montana, where she served as chairperson of both the Board of Directors and the Treatment and Referral Committee, coordinating efforts of and assisting school district personnel, social services personnel, youth probation officers, and mental health professionals in developing and implementing a treatment plan for each resident youth.  Throughout Sharon’s career, she focused on the individual student in helping prepare them for their future lives.


She will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by friends and family.  She is survived by her nephew, Michael (Amanda) Nicholson, and their son, Gage Wilson; nephew, Jim (Lauretta) LaBuda, and their children, Christopher LaBuda and Ryan LaBuda; nephew, Jerry LaBuda; nephew, Allen (Cindy) LaBuda, and their children, Riley LaBuda and Tracyn LaBuda; nephew, Lawrence LaBuda; nephew, Tim (Lacey) LaBuda, and son, Wyatt Labuda; nephew, Nick Young; and nephew, Gordon (Sheila) Young, and their children, Merle Young, Kevin Young, and Casey Young.


She was preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Evelin LaBuda; brothers, Bernard LaBuda, Mike A. LaBuda and Dennis LaBuda; sisters, Helen (LaBuda) Young and Jeanette (LaBuda) Nicholson; nephew, Bill Young; and great-niece, Crystal LaBuda.


A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 17, 2024, 11:00 a.m. in the Timberline High School Gym, 6120 Mullen Road SE, Lacey, WA 98503.  A celebration in Big Sandy, Montana, will be planned for later in Spring 2024.


Donations in memory of Sharon Kae LaBuda may be sent to one of the following places per her wishes:  the newly created Sharon LaBuda Staff Memorial Scholarship Fund at Timberline High School, the Seattle Children's Hospital, or Shriner's Crippled Children's Hospital.


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