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"We are really fortunate to have her here," Emily Jackson, of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, said of Masterton in 2010. "She's just real comfortable to be around, and that's easy for children. . For me, she's just been great at reaching out to a diverse range of people. She's good at bringing people together."
"Laurey's" is advertised as a caf specializing in "gourmet comfort food" as well as a catering business. Masterton was a pioneer not only of the new downtown but also of the local food movement.
She was among several hundred chefs who helped Michelle Obama launch the "Chefs Move to Schools" campaign against childhood obesity. She delivered a talk at TEDx Asheville about the importance of honey bees and her love of beekeeping.
Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria and another of the pioneering business owners who led the downtown Asheville renaissance. "She was a bright light on Biltmore Avenue."
? "Laurey is White Human Race Nmd
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Sadly, the last no longer applies. The cancer that has dogged Masterton much of her life roared back suddenly and claimed her early Tuesday at age 49.
? "So sorry to hear this. I don't know her but certainly know of her. She has contributed greatly to our community and made it a better place to live."
Once news of her death went out, the tributes poured in. A sampling, from the comment sections of the Asheville Citizen Times:
? "Laurey on your journey may the wind be in you hair and sun always shining."
? Adidas Duramo 5 Tr "My life is better for having known her. She is a truly remarkable, special person. The world is better for her being in it."
How do you describe a person such as Laurey Masterton? Entrepreneur? Activist? Survivor?
Asheville's downtown still was pretty much moribund when Masterton opened her Biltmore Avenue storefront in 1990. "There wasn't a whole lot going on back then," said Jimi Rentz, owner of Adidas Duramo Mens Trainers
? "An amazing woman who has done so much to help make Asheville the wonderful community that it is. She truly has shown us what it means to joyfully live!"
Yet, cancer was never far from her thoughts. How could it be? Cancer claimed both of her parents when she was 12, and ovarian cancer struck her 20 years ago. In fact, her original intent when coming to Asheville was to set up classes for cancer survivors, before her love of cooking detoured her.
But what a life it was. Masterton's restaurant and catering business was a major player in jump starting the revival of Asheville's downtown. She raised money to battle ovarian cancer and campaigned against childhood obesity. She kept bees and published a cookbook of "recipes from a beekeeper's kitchen."
Asheville's Laurey Masterton stood as a warrior for a better world
a great example of the fact that we might not be able to control how long we live, but we can control how we live."
such an outpouring of love upon their passing. Fewer still deserve it. Laurey Masterton was one of those who lived up to everything that was said about her.
She rode her bicycle 3,100 miles across the country to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. She founded JoyRide, a YMCA Livestrong program fundraiser. Through it all, her personality made her many friends, people whose lives were touched by knowing her.
"We believe in real food and we believe that the best tastes come from local ingredients," she said on the business' website. "We are friends with many of our farmers and we think that makes it all the better. Close is good, we think. Come taste what we mean."
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