Lauren Jennifer McCluskey
1997 - 2018
Kimball Funeral Home
905 S Grand Ave
Pullman, WA
Lauren J. McCluskey
1997 - 2018
Lauren Jennifer McCluskey, 21 years old, a beautiful young woman in all respects, was murdered on the University of Utah campus on October 22, 2018. A worldwide outpouring of grief testified to the light she brought during her life - a light that somehow still shines during these dark days.
Lauren was born in Berkeley, CA on February 12, 1997. She moved to Pullman, WA August 1998 when her parents, Matt and Jill McCluskey, joined Washington State University as professors. From an early age, she was bright, sensitive, and very active. She fearlessly climbed trees and climbing walls.
She entered her first Junior Olympic (JO) association track meet at 8 years old and set JO records in high jump, long jump, and 400 meter run. At age 9, she was told that if she qualified for nationals, she could go. So, of course, she qualified for nationals in the 9-10 age group. She continued to compete nationally in high jump, hurdles, and multi-events, earning USA Track and Field All American (top 8) 19 times and setting many USATF association youth records, 12 of which still stand, and the Junior (U20) association record for heptathlon. As she competed nationally, she made friendships with athletes, their families, and coaches from across the U.S.
As a high school freshman, she was WA State High School Champion in High Jump and 2nd in 100 meter hurdles. She high jumped 5'6" in her sophomore year before pulling her hamstring. She spent her junior year training at SPIRE and attending Andrews Osborne Academy in Ohio. She returned to Pullman for her senior year of high school. At the 2015 WA State High School meet, she qualified in four events, scoring in three, helping her team place third overall in the state. She set the Pullman High record for the 100-meter hurdles. She placed 9th at U.S. Junior (U20) Championships in the heptathlon that year.
She loved animals and volunteered at the Whitman County Humane Society helping to socialize cats so they would be more adoptable. She had two beloved cats of her own, Fuzzy and then Victory. She completed her Pullman High School senior project at the WSU Center for Animal Wellbeing. She also volunteered for the YMCA and Special Olympics.
Lauren graduated from Pullman High with honors and accepted a Track & Field scholarship at the University of Utah to compete in the PAC-12 Conference. At Utah, she competed in the multi-events and high jump. She was a loyal Ute and rooted for them with gusto. She earned PAC-12 (hon. mention) and MPSF All-Academic Awards and is 10th on the all-time performance list for the Utes in the pentathlon.
Her work ethic, in the classroom, weight room, and on the track, was exceptional. Her teammates and coaches were inspired and amazed at how she never complained, even when the weather was foul or practice was especially tough.
Lauren has been described as quiet but, more accurately, she chose her words carefully. Her professors were delighted by how she was engaged and made incisive, on-point comments. In college, she truly blossomed.
Lauren never had an unkind word to say about anyone. She loved being with friends and was a great dancer. She had a strong singing voice, loved karaoke, and even did standup comedy.
Lauren was a Christian. She grew up attending Community Congregational United Church of Christ and in college attended Capital Church in Salt Lake City. She was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the University of Utah.
She was a deep, independent thinker with an interest in philosophy and a strong sense of right and wrong.
She was a gifted writer, winning a high school award in her junior year of high school as the top writer at her prep school and excelling in college. Even her texts and e-mails were beautifully composed. Lauren enrolled in electives on grammar and logic for pure intellectual enjoyment. She was looking forward to graduating and finding a job in public relations or academic advising, preferably some place warm.
Lauren served as a Communication Intern at Courtland Place Retirement Community, where her grandparents live. In this internship, she designed and completed a picture directory with stories that she wrote about the residents. She enjoyed interviewing them and taking their pictures for the project. Her grandparents received wonderful feedback from their neighbors that they loved the book and interacting with Lauren.
A model student-athlete, Lauren had a 3.77 GPA and applied to graduate in spring 2019. Recognizing her academic accomplishments, the University of Utah conferred a posthumous B.Sc. Degree in Communication.
Lauren is survived by parents Matt and Jill, brother Ryan, grandparents John and Linda McCluskey, Ross and Joyce Rudeen, uncles Jeff and Steve Rudeen, aunt Jennifer McCluskey, cousin Madison Bryant, and her cat Victory.
In lieu of flowers, Matt and Jill suggest donating to the Lauren McCluskey Memorial Fund for student athletes in track and field, or the Whitman County Humane Society
Let her light shine.
A celebration of life for Lauren will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 4 to 6 pm at the SEL Event Center in Pullman, WA 99163.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, 2018.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
Schweitzer Engineering's Event Center
Pullman, WA
Funeral services provided by:
Kimball Funeral Home
Sponsored by Kimball Funeral Home.
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50 Entries
I didn’t know Lauren let alone ever heard of her until I watched what happened I am so very sorry that her life was taken so soon, she had a bright future ahead of her from what I can see, but I can say that evil comes in all shapes and sizes. Things like this should have never happened to young, or old. My prayers and thoughts go out to her family. God bless you all,

Shaun Cotten
February 9, 2021
My sincere condolences to Lauren's parents and brother. I was shocked and saddened by her story on Dateline. I'm glad she was Christian like I am. You will see her again in heaven. I am a saxophonist and will dedicate a song to her on my CD ,"In my dreams" that I am preparing to record this year. Chuck Nadashny- Long Beach, CA.
Chuck Nadashny
January 30, 2021
My deepest condolence to the parents of Lauren. Am crying while I was watching her story on Dateline. My prayers and Aloha .
January 29, 2021
Can't imagine you all of you have been going through and I met Lauren at the University of Utah Fan Feast the year she passed, she was so kind and gave me the brightest smile. She told me to have a wonderful day and gave me hug.
My thoughts and prayers are still with the Mccluskey family and the U of U track team
Fan of the Utah Utes
May 22, 2020
Lauren will never be forgotten. A statue sits outside my front door showing a young girl sitting on a rock with her hands hold her face/head with a home-made sign with her name and death date and that she was a University of Utah student. At my home, we will never forget this student!!
Teri Williams
October 21, 2019
Jeff, My thoughts are with you and your family during such grief and sadness. Sending love to the entire family. Laura Gibson
Laura Gibson
June 21, 2019
You are a beautiful young lady and now an angel in heaven. The world is a better place because you inhabited it.
Linda Clark
June 11, 2019
Tanya Patrick
June 11, 2019
I just viewed Dateline on TV @ was so affected by Lauren's ordeal @ her story, I made it a point to find this page @ listen to her obituary. I saw a beautiful young lady @ heard wonderful things about who she was. I just want her parents, family @ friends to know just how sorry I am this horrific situation occurred. From what I saw on Dateline, Lauren was a beautiful person who had so much potential going for her. I hope everyone who watched Dateline learned valuable lessons from hearing their presentation. Thank you to her parents for allowing it to be told. May God bless you all @ give you peace.
Martha J. Webster
June 10, 2019
I repainted a stature to the UTE colors with a sign around the neck of this stature of a young girl dreaming sitting on a rock. The sign has Lauren's name on it and what happen to her. I wanted to always remember Lauren, even tho I did not know her. She was special, this I do know and this should not of happened to her. She had so much to live for and a wonderful set of parents.
Teri Williams
March 1, 2019
Lauren always loved the BBC. She will be missed, undoubtedly.
Dave Woods
February 27, 2019
R.I.P. young sister, Lauren.
P Hansen
November 15, 2018
You should be so proud of your sweet Lauren who touched so many lives, including mine, even though I never met her in person. I am deeply sorry for your loss and hope you find comfort in knowing your beautiful angel is in Heaven now. Sending love and prayers of strength to your family during this difficult time.
Jennifer S
November 11, 2018
Beautiful Lauren. Your light will shine forever. We will always remember the love and kindness that you radiated.
Donna Paul
November 11, 2018
The McCluskys were our neighbors. We watched Lauren grow up. She was a beautiful and talented girl. She would help us with different jobs around the house but she most loved babysitting our dog Poppie. She never missed a chance even though her cat Fuzzy was not so fond of Poppie. The world was a better place with her in it. Jean and John Cullen
November 7, 2018
To Lauren's family: What a beautiful, smart and gifted young woman. Lauren did everything right, I hope you know this. Everything. Warmth and peace to all of you in this horrible time. May she live on in your hearts and memories.
Holly Mullen
November 4, 2018
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
jamie murphy
November 3, 2018
Dear Jill and Family -

Maria Loureiro just let me know what happened. I didn't expect to be this upset and moved by her passing so I attribute her meteor like life to my emotions - amazed, dazzled, sad, depressed, angry - that are coming over me.

My thoughts and deepest prayers are with you. I wish I could attend the memorial.

All my best,

Paula Gutman Khosla
Paula Gutman Khosla
November 3, 2018
There are no words to describe the pain of Lauren's death. God promised to always be with us. Because of Lauren's faith, she is ...more than a conqueror through him who loved her. Romans 8:37. Please know that my wife and I are praying for the entire family.

I am a cousin of Grandma Joyce.
Ron & Sharon Johnson
November 2, 2018
Was sadden hearing about this beautiful girl's death. She deserved to live. Griefed with everyone else, even tho' I never knew her.

This nation has lost a valuable person. She will be in my thoughts ........forever.
Teri Williams
November 2, 2018
Dear McCluskey Family,
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter & sister Lauren...her radiant beauty & love of life has touched the world with graciousness.
God bless you all as you go on without her loving embraces....her light shines down from heaven like a gorgeous new star to guide your paths.
May you all be comforted & carried by earthy & heavenly angels during the days & weeks ahead....I morn with you all.
Lauren is in God's arms...
Carol Moody
November 2, 2018
Condolences on the loss of your beautiful daughter. She is now in heaven with our heavenly father.
November 1, 2018
A beautifully written tribute to a young woman whose light obviously shown brightly during her short time on this earth. May God bless your family, Lauren, providing them with the strength to go on without your physical presence. Even though I do not know you, I see that your life had tremendous meaning. A life well-lived by this child of GOD.
Carlene Waller
October 31, 2018
As a mother who lost a 19 year old daughter in a very similar situation just over 4 years ago, my heart breaks for your family. I am so sorry for your loss.
Carrie Madden
October 31, 2018
Best wishes to all friends and family of Lauren
Brent Aguilar
October 31, 2018
Teri Williams
October 31, 2018
October 31, 2018
I am so sorry for the tragic loss of Lauren. My thoughts and prayers are with your family as you move forward with the special memories you have of Lauren.
Alfons Weersink
October 31, 2018
With deepest sympathy on loss of your love one . May it bring comfort you to know that she will return to the days of her youthful vigor as promised at Job 33:25.
Melissa Pioneer
October 30, 2018
Remember Lauren Spirit can never be desytoyed therefore her light will never go out. Any light that flicker be reminded of her presence.
Although I never knew Lauren her picture exude such warmth and kindness which is evident she had the same of her parents. May your Spirit dance,love and live continually as a Family knowing that Lauren will be in the midst.
Brenda Barfield
October 30, 2018
Jill, Matt, Ryan, and other family members: Our hearts are heavy for your loss. Though we never met her, we see clearly that Lauren was a special woman from a loving family. We will help to keep her light bright in the world.
Robin Schoen
October 30, 2018
My condolences to your family. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter.
October 30, 2018
No parent should ever have to endure this grief, this pain, this devastation..... may you be blessed in your time of need
Gavin Mackay
October 30, 2018
This past week has been so heartbreaking knowing that someone so young and full of life was taken way too soon. I didn't know lauren but everything I've heard about her makes me wish I was able to know her. She impacted my life and I will remember her name always. My deepest condolences to the McCluskey family and all her friends, coaches, teammates and teachers.
Erin Sanders
October 30, 2018
I wish I had words to express my deep sorrow in your, our, the worlds - great loss. Thank you for sharing Lauren with so many of us. What an amazing daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend.
My prayers, love and dedication are with you all. God Speed.
Laura Passey
October 30, 2018
My heart hurts from this!! So tragic!! My thoughts are with the family at the time of need !
Alex Pellegrini
October 30, 2018
Such a beautiful smart young woman taken away to soon. My heart goes out to the family and friends at this time.
October 30, 2018
My heart hurts for all of you! I pray that you will be blessed with added strength to get through this! She was talented, beautiful, kind and strong! Again, I am so sorry for your loss!
Denise Hendrickson
October 30, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God's love will see you through this very difficult time....
Maggie Jacobsen
October 30, 2018
I'm sorry for the loss of your loved one. May the true God of comfort, comfort those mourning and bind up the broken-hearted.Isaiah 61:1,2
October 30, 2018
The loss of a love one is difficult. May the precious memories you have help you cope and bring you peace. 1 Thes. 4:14 can bring you some comfort knowing that there is a future for the ones we have lost in death can be reassuring. May the God of peace be with you and your family
October 29, 2018
Dear McCluskey Family,
We are praying for your strength and God's love to carry you through. Lauren was an exceptional young woman and inspiration.
The Ehmke Family, Laramie
Mariah Ehmke
October 29, 2018

To the family,
Our deepest sympathy, for your loss.
Hope Jesus words at John 6:40...
gives you some comfort durning this
difficult time.
October 29, 2018
Dear McClusky family,
We want you to know that the whole State of Utah is deeply mourning the loss of your beloved daughter Lauren. You must be so proud of her. She must have had some wonderful parents to raise such an outstanding daughter

We didn't know her personally, but ou r granddaughter did. We feel like we knew her from all the beautiful things we have read about her.
We send our love and prayers to your dear family. Remember "FAMILIES ARE FOREVER "
The Smith family
October 29, 2018
We are heartbroken for the loss of your beautiful daughter. We are so sorry! We send our love and prayers to your family.
October 28, 2018
Dear McCluskey,

I was horrified to read about the death of your beloved daughter. Although you don't know me, I wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sandra Brimhall
October 28, 2018
Beautiful soul! You will see her again
Michelle Korous
October 28, 2018
Rest in peace beautiful girl
Lorie Walters
October 28, 2018
May The Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her.
October 28, 2018
With tear filled eyes (once again this week).. I am reading another heartfelt tribute to Lauren. What a beautiful, accomplished young woman Lauren was. She has touched the hearts of all of us in Utah. May she rest in peace in the arms of our Savior. My deepest condolences to her mom, dad and brother and all who knew and loved her. All our love and prayers for your family.
The Sagendorf Family
Marlene and Ryan Sagendorf
October 28, 2018
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