A memorial service will be held for middle school English teacher Lauren LaMay on Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), from 2-4 p.m. at the Raley Studios for the Performing Arts (1425 24th St.)
Anyone who wishes to come is welcome, although RSVPs are preferred. (To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.). Attendees are encouraged to wear casual, brightly colored clothing, LaMay’s friend Geoff Wong said.
LaMay, who taught at Country Day for 37 years, died on July 19 after suffering an unexpected stroke.
Wong, who organized the memorial, said he chose the 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, because of a fantasy LaMay had of being a descendant of the Celts.
“Last May on her birthday, I got her a DNA test so that we could settle this thing (about her other fantasy) of possibly being a Von Trapp child,” Wong said.
LaMay identified with the Von Trapp family since she was born on the same day in Vermont as one of the grandchildren. Her joke was that since she was the only child of five with red hair, she must have been swapped at birth, according to Wong.
“When I got the results, I called her up and told her that although she didn’t have any Austro-Hungarian or Germanic DNA and wasn’t a Von Trapp, there was still some good news,” Wong said.
The DNA test showed that LaMay was actually 38 percent Irish.
And coincidentally, some Celts actually left oppressive Ancient Roman rule to found Ireland, according to Wong.
“She was very happy to find out she was actually a descendant of the Celts,” he said.
There will be five speakers at the memorial, some of whom will be traveling all the way from Washington, D.C. (former head of middle school Quincey Grieve, ‘86) and Hawaii (former head of school Dan White).
“These people really loved and revered her,” Wong said.
Other speakers are former history teacher Daniel Neukom, former lower school teacher Robin Kren and Jessica Goldman Laskey, ’04, who graduated as a Lifer and will be singing “What I Did for Love,” a song about a dedicated dancer who sacrificed it all for the love of her career, Wong said.
“(Just like the dancer), Lauren gave everything to the school and students,” he said.
Other guests include current and former faculty, students, parents, and members of LaMay’s family.
Over 120 people have already RSVP’d for the event, Wong said.
Wong also put together a multimedia presentation with the alliterative title of “Lovely, Lyrical, Literal Life of Lauren LaMay.”
In addition to the speakers, there will be a series of small exhibits and important facts of LaMay’s life, Wong said.