It is hard to believe it has been 35 years since I graduated from Lufkin High School. A lot has happened to me in those 35 years…mostly good things…married for 33 laughter filled years, 2 healthy children, lots of travel adventures, successful businesses, and more… but one terribly sad, hard, difficult thing…the loss of my daughter Lauren.
Her 10 year high school reunion was this year….and it brings up several memories. I also graduated from Lufkin High School…in the Class of 1981. Ten years ago for the celebration of our 25th graduation anniversary, the class decided to give out a college scholarship to a deserving LHS graduating senior. Out of all those who applied, you guessed it, Lauren was picked as that student. What a great honor for her and I was so proud for her to be chosen by my class…I was tickled pink about it…or should I say purple as that is one of our school colors. I believe she lived up to that honor…she worked hard and graduated from SFA in the class of 2006, Cum Laude with a BS in Hospitality Management. That is one of the proudest and most special memories I have of her.
Another memory is of a classmate of mine from the Class of 1981. Her name was Jennifer Estes and she passed away in 1984, just 3 short years after our graduation. She was a Business major at Sam Houston State University and had a car wreck on her way home one weekend. At the time I remember thinking about how her life was cut short, how she would never get married and have children, how close she was to getting her degree, how her family must feel in dealing with the loss of their child and sister, the shockingly, unexpected, suddenness of her death…. and how do you go on with your life when you lose a child. Jennifer was a Senior in college and just 21…so…was…Lauren. I never imagined I would be in the same position as Jennifer’s Mom.
We give out at least one $1000 scholarship each year through the Lufkin High School Alumni Association. You can look at pictures of past recipients under the heading of LAF Recipients: LHS. We gave out the first scholarship just 2 months after Lauren’s passing and will continue for life. We have a “To Donate Online” button in the headings of this site if you ever wish to help us continue that legacy. Thank you… and Go Panthers.