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"Don't Postpone Joy," Laurey's Legacy

Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 09:34 AM EST
Tuesday at 4-AM, Laurey Masterton passed away at the age of 59.
Laurey Masterton has been a pioneer entrepreneur in Downtown Asheville and a trailblazer in so many ways. Now, the longtime cancer survivor is in hospice care, her sister says.

"She's resting comfortably, we need her to have privacy to do that," Laurey's sister Heather told us. "But would you hold her in your hearts, Asheville?"

At Laurey's Catering downtown, word of the 59 year old's declining health saddens many customers. Many are inspired by the phrase Laurey trademarked, "Don't Postpone Joy."

"’Don't Postpone Joy’ has been Laurey's symbol for such a long time," Heather Masterton explains.

"I think Laurey has set the bar for local businesses to make a contribution to the community," customer Kate Pett told us.

Laurey has been a cancer survivor since she was in her early twenties. Over the years, she helped revitalize downtown and spread the word about her disease. In 2009, she bicycled across the country for the Ovarian Cancer Association.

Beyond that, she's a beekeeper who's a strong advocate for sustainable agriculture. She has also been active in local schools, teaching them about nutritious foods to help fight obesity. She's been a vital part of so many different causes.

"What I admire most about Laurey, is she always sets a challenge for herself," Heather tells us.

Retired Teacher Susan Shillcock got to know and admire Laurey over the years.

"She fought so hard," Shillcock says. "And we need more people like her around. We don't need to be losing people like Laurey. But she's left such a legacy."

We often saw Laurey in the "Carolina Kitchen" here on News 13. She boiled the recipe for life down to three words.

"And I love the bumper stickers that say ‘Don't Postpone Joy,’" says customer Gretchen Banks.

At the business that's part of Laurey's legacy, admirers won’t postpone the outpouring of love.

"It's really a wonderful place of refuge now," Heather says. "I know thousands are thinking about Laurey and keeping her in their hearts.""Don't Postpone Joy," Laurey's Legacy

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