Lauren Kaye Benitez

Lauren Kaye Benitez was born January 14, 1999, in Hinsdale, Illinois, to Anthony and Jennifer Benitez. Lauren died April 4, 2024 in Lawrence, Kansas.

Lauren moved from the Chicago area to Lawrence at age 6. She attended Langston Hughes Elementary, Southwest Middle School and Lawrence High School, where she graduated in 2017 and earned honor roll recognition.

Lauren grew up with dreams of working in healthcare and earning a nursing degree. She loved animals and played softball throughout her childhood and into her teens. She also enjoyed drawing, cooking, music and vacationing in Florida. Those who spent time with Lauren always looked forward to seeing the colors she had chosen for her hair and nails and to hear about her newest favorite bands – usually heavy metal and rock. Like the owl tattooed on her arm, Lauren observed and listened much more than she spoke.

Lauren loved family gatherings, especially events filled with food. She was a loving big sister to Eric and Maleah, and she had a very close and special relationship with her grandma Linda Marie Benitez, who died in 2017.

Lauren became a mother to her beautiful daughter, Mia, in January 2023. As an at-home mom, Lauren spent as much time as possible with Mia. She loved sharing photos and news about her daughter’s developmental milestones with family members. Lauren was a proud mom.

Throughout her life, Lauren demonstrated a talent for taking care of others. At the time of her death, Lauren worked as a certified nursing assistant at Neuvant House on weekends, where she helped provide memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Her coworkers described Lauren as a quiet person who was very nice, a hard worker, and a team player. Lauren’s coworkers and the residents she cared for enjoyed the gifts she shared. Previously Lauren had worked at Pioneer Ridge and Brandon Woods.

Lauren will forever be loved by her family members and friends. Her kind and gentle presence will be missed during every family event and holiday and every day in between.

Lauren was cremated. Family members will hold a private memorial service.

Graveside inurnment will take place at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 1600 Oak Hill Ave., Lawrence.

The family suggests memorial contributions in Lauren’s name to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.