Vail Valley honors life of Lauren Mutter with memories, scripture
Friends of the Mutter family have established a Vail Christian High School scholarship fund in honor of Lauren Mutter, the Live, Laugh Love Memorial Scholarship.
EDWARDS — Lauren Mutter has left this world, but her dedication, friendship and laughter all still linger.
Vail Christian High School Friday hosted a celebration of life for Lauren, 31, who died suddenly March 9.
The celebration of Lauren’s life was a true celebration, with music, memories and scriptures that reflected her deep Christian faith. There were plenty of tears, of course, but the bright echoes of Lauren’s life were reflected in those who came, packing Vail Christian’s Grace Auditorium, with still more people observing a video feed in the school’s gym.
A lot of those people called Lauren a friend. Her best friends were legion.
In her time at the podium, younger sister Caitlin Mutter noted the countless people on social media who called Lauren a best friend. But Caitlin was first, from the day she came into the world.
But those who spoke at the service said there was no way Lauren could have just one best friend.
“I could not be more proud to share my best friend,” Caitlin said.
Those friends ranged from pastors to coaches to peers to students she mentored in both sports and life.
“She never put herself first,” Caitlin said. “She had a servant’s heart.”
The service came with a big helping of joy. All who spoke talked about Lauren’s laugh and the enthusiasm she brought to everything she did and everyone whose life she touched.
Rev. Scott Leonard is the men’s and young adults pastor at The Vail Church.
Leonard talked about getting to know Lauren through the church and its Young Life program for teens. When Lauren would babysit the Leonard kids, the parents would often come home to rap videos Lauren had made with them, then hang out with the adults after the kids had gone to bed.
Lauren affected the lives of a lot of kids, through ministry, as well as playing and coaching at Vail Christian.
Cathy Alexander was the coach of the Vail Christian volleyball team when she first got to know Lauren. After college, Lauren returned to the valley, and to Vail Christian, where she joined Alexander in coaching the volleyball team.
The two were friends — maybe best friends — and became close.
“We all want mentors for our kids like Lauren,” Alexander said.
Lauren was also co-head coach of the Vail Christian girls soccer team with Barb Wilson.
Lauren had recently asked Wilson to write a character reference — which Wilson gladly did. She couldn’t write about Lauren’s famed dance moves. But she did write about Lauren’s deeper qualities, her creativity, her joy and her willingness to minister to anyone, any time.
Lauren was “fully known by God,” Wilson said.
“When Lauren’s heart stopped, God’s heart was the first to break,” she said.
A video presentation to honor Lauren was the final part of the service before The Vail Church Rev. Craig Smith’s benediction sent the crowd into the late-afternoon sunlight.
On the video, any number of Lauren’s best friends provided a host of one-word descriptions:
“A role model.”
And there were pictures of Lauren, from the time she was a toddler to the present. All of those photos showed the same genuine, happy smile.
There were video clips of times on the slopes and in the water.
At the end, there was the sound of Lauren’s laugh.
That laugh was a tribute to a life well lived, a life summed up by a favorite Bible quotation, from the book of James:
“If it’s God’s will, then I will.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 970-748-2930.
The ski racer turned hotelier who was close to President Ford embodied the soul of Vail for nearly 60 years.