Vail Christian students mourn loss of Lauren Mutter, a mentor and coach
Vail Christian alum died Saturday in rollover accident in Edwards
EDWARDS — The Vail Christian High School family is reeling from the loss of coach and mentor Lauren Mutter. Students gathered briefly Monday morning before classes to share, to support each other and swap some stories that helped them laugh a little and love a lot.
Grief counselors and local pastors were in the school most of the day, sharing some wisdom but mostly listening as students started working their way through the process.
Mutter died Saturday in a single-vehicle rollover accident near Edwards. She was wearing her seat belt, she was not speeding and no alcohol or drugs were involved, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Still, her 2017 Toyota 4Runner hit a snow bank and rolled. She died at Vail Health Hospital.
Give grace and space
Give each other grace and space, students were told Monday morning.
“We cannot go through this alone,” Vail Christian senior Roy Valenzuela said.
Yes, she’s in heaven but it’s still painful when someone you love is ripped from your life, they said.
Lauren’s race is run, the students said Monday. The Vail Christian students say she’s in heaven, looking down and cheering them on as they run their race.
A few students wondered aloud why, in the wake of such a tragedy, they were in school at all — because routine matters, familiarity matters, especially in the midst of something so unfamiliar.
As they shared, they learned that everyone believed they were Mutter’s best friend.
“And you know what? We were all correct,” Charlie Alexander, a longtime coach at Vail Christian, said.
Not so long ago Lauren updated her social media account with Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity. She can laugh at the days to come.”
‘You’re with us forever’
A few students took the stage to share some anecdotes and thoughts.
Valenzuela did a little Baylor University trivia. Mutter was born and raised in the Vail Valley, graduated from Baylor and returned to Vail Christian to work for her alma mater.
By the way, the Baylor Bears compete in the Big 12 conference. Mutter made sure everyone knew that.
Valenzuela, Vail Christian’s student body president, credited Mutter with teaching him leadership skills, and so much more.
“She had the most beautiful soul,” Beka Gershenoff said, then read from the Bible, Revelation 21:4, “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Gretchen Pavelich, one of Mutter’s star athletes, recalled “bus ride parties” that always included songs and laughter.
“Lauren touched us in so many ways it was unfathomable,” Pavelich said. “She taught us how to be happy in times of struggle … just how to be happy.
“We’ll miss you forever, but you’re with us forever.”
Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong local of Eagle and Summit counties, died while skiing up to the Polar Star Inn to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday on Friday night.