|Lauren Ashley Burk
1989 – 2008
We believe it is important to let people know about Lauren’s story. Lauren Ashley Burk, 1989-2008, was from Marietta, Georgia, and was a freshman attending Auburn University in Alabama when she was abducted on campus and lost her life in March of 2008. We believe there are lessons to be learned from Lauren’s story, as it inspires us in our mission to provide powerful and realistic safety education and crime prevention training for Georgia’s families.
Memories from Lauren’s Mother, Viviane Guerchon
Her story began in August 11, 1989 when she was born at Northside Hospital. What a good and happy baby she was!! She was so sweet and her nickname became Lollypop… Lauren loved her big sister Jaklyn and followed her everywhere, sometimes getting on Jaklyn’s nerves. I would put her to bed and she wouldn’t cry or fuss… she would fall asleep saying “See you tomomorow!!!” in a variety of voice tones… too cute! Fifteen months later her brother Chad was born. They were inseparable… he even went to Lauren’s Senior Spring Break trip where I was the parent liaison per her request.
Fast forward 17 years… she grew up to be a caring, sweet and loving daughter, sister and friend to all people. Lauren had no enemies and she would get so mad when people made bad comments about other people… She had a heart of gold and wanted to help everyone.
Lauren was very involved with the Invisible Children’s Fund. She never advertised it… she just did it. I didn’t even know of her involvement until her life was taken. Her friends weren’t aware of it either. She was never one to boast about doing something so noble or for participating in such an important cause.
When Lauren was about 7 years old she really wanted a tabby cat. I finally found an orange kitten with white paws and surprised her. She named him Pudgy and that cat became her constant companion… he acted more like a dog than a cat. He would walk her to the bus stop in the mornings and in the afternoon when she got off the bus; there was Pudgy waiting for her. She even taught him tricks… too funny!!
Lauren was passionate about life, music, art, and most of all, children. She wanted to have many kids. She also loved trees. She would go to the East Cobb park right after class to do her homework under her favorite tree. Music was a huge part of her life as she was a free spirit and enjoyed all kinds of music. Lauren was a hippie with a lot of fashion sense and style. She was very innocent, laughed a lot and loved Disney movies. She became very silly after she ate… she would giggle and do a little dance that only Lauren knew how. Drawing was another one of her passions and she definitely had the talent for it. She went to Salamanca, Spain with her class at Walton HS and she liked it so much she went back the following year.
I could write pages and pages about Lauren. The fact is that Lauren was a blessing to me, to all who knew her and to the world. The room would brighten up when she entered it with her beautiful smile and brown eyes. Life will never be the same without her giggles and silly sayings and jokes. She will be missed forever. The world lost someone that made it a beautiful place. Her favorite saying was in a song by Cold Play – WE LIVE IN A BEAUTIFUL WORLD… and, for me, it was beautiful until the world took her life away and left us here with the pain of her absence.
Memories from Lauren’s Father, Jim Burk
Lauren Ashley Burk was someone very special, and the world was a better place because Lauren was in it.
She was Sweet. Tender, Intelligent, Logical, Beautiful, Playful, Serious, Creative Energetic, a Sleepyhead, Non-Judgmental, Accepting and would teach me things, even as her Father. For a person like Lauren not to be here with us any more is Unimaginable. I feel lucky to have had her for the short 18 1/2 years that I did.
She experienced many wonderful things in her short life. She traveled to Spain twice, New York, Florida, Chicago, Cleveland, South Carolina, California, any I’m sure other places I cannot even remember.
She experienced major Music Legends, at their concerts, Eric Clapton, Cold play, The Police, The Bonaroo Weekend in Tennessee. Everything Lauren set her mind to and completed was done with success and complete excellence. She was one who would look Beautiful in a Barn and in a Five Star restaurant.
I am missing her more as each minute goes by and I hope she has peace and somehow is up above smiling down on us.
I Love you Lolly… Dad
Message from Lauren’s Sister, Jaklyn Guerchon Semones
Lauren was the girl everyone wanted to be. She was funny, smart, gorgeous, sometimes clueless and always in the best mood. She didn’t get angry and if she did it was only for a few minutes and then she was over it. She always wanted everyone to get along and didn’t understand why people couldn’t just be nice. She even loved ants… if she saw one in the kitchen she would tell us to just leave it alone because he is not doing anything wrong. She would never ever judge someone and if we judged someone she would yell at us and tell us “that’s not nice”. She would walk into a room and it would light up… people swarmed around her because people just loved her. She had a million friends and they were all from different “clicks”… she could care less if the person was a cheerleader, hippie, goth, preppy, or a slacker… she really loved everyone. She was the most fashionable hippie you would ever meet. She loved clothes and looked cute in everything she wore. She was my favorite person and even though she was my only sister I would always tell her that she was my favorite sister. Lauren was the most beautiful person, inside and out, and I cannot wait to hug her again.