Lauren Failla

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LAUREN FAILLA AGE: 25 MORRIS TWP. Lauren Failla died on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 in a snorkeling accident off the Andaman Islands while on a vacation trip to India. She was 25 years old, an artistic, talented, beautiful, loving young woman. A memorial service to celebrate her life will take place on Saturday, May 15 at 11 AM at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Morristown. Ms. Failla had recently received a Masters of Art Business with Distinction from Sotheby's Institute of Art in London. At the time of the accident, she was in the process of completing her application to Columbia University's graduate program for art therapy, planning a career combining two of her passions, art and helping children. Earlier, as a student at Vanderbilt University, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Lauren had been accepted into the highly selective Master's of Nursing program for pediatrics, when the sudden tragic death of her sister Emily changed her focus. Turning to art to help her recover, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt in December 2007 with dual majors in Human and Organizational Development and Studio Arts. Lauren's resumé reflects her commitment to both compassionate outreach and art. During summers, Lauren studied art history at Richmond College in London and American Sign Language at Gallaudet in Washington, D.C. In Morristown, she interned at the GOALS Center for Families, Morristown Memorial Hospital NICU, and the Simon Gallery. In Nashville, she volunteered with various healthcare causes, including First Steps, a program for infants and toddlers, and PAWsitive Outreach, a pet therapy program. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren grew up in Morris Township. She was a member of the Morristown High School Class of 2003. Lauren performed in school plays, volunteered as a junior EMT, and sang in the church choir. An avid reader, exercise enthusiast, natural skier, and instinctive computer whiz, Lauren had many gifts, but she excelled at the arts-ballet, painting, and theater. People delighted in her aptly described megawatt smile and the sparkling laugh that came easily in the company of others. She loved children, and was visibly joyous when helping in childcare centers, holding babies in India, or tending to anyone in need. It is as much for her kindness and empathy, as for her remarkable talents and vivacious personality, that Lauren is remembered. Lauren was a lifelong member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, where she actively volunteered with the Youth Group program up until her untimely passing. She joined the Girl's Choir in the third grade, rising to Head Chorister with her angelic soprano voice. She left an indelible memory with her magnificent, poised singing of "Pie Jesu" at her sister Emily's memorial service just four years ago. Lauren's very strong personal faith carried her; in London she was referred to by a classmate as the class's spiritual guide and "spiritual gold medal." The beloved daughter of Kay and Frank Failla, Lauren was predeceased by her adored and adoring older sister, Emily. In addition to her parents and loving Morristown friends and mentors, she leaves cherished family and friends in Texas, Hawaii, Wisconsin, California, Tennessee, London, and around the world. A memorial fund has been established in Lauren's honor. Donations may be sent to: Lauren Failla Endowment for Church Youth, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 70 Maple Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960. Condolences may also be expressed on line at www.rowelanterman.com.

Published in Daily Record on May 12, 2010
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