Lauren BaylessLauren Michelle Bayless, 28, died at home in Wilmington, N.C., on Sunday, April 23, 2017, of complications from a congenital illness. Memorial services were held Wednesday, May 3, at Unity of Charlottesville. 

Lauren grew up in Crozet, Va., and was the daughter of Rick Bayless of Lake Monticello and Cynthia Bayless of Wilmington, N.C.  She is survived by her younger brother, Matthew Bayless of Charlottesville, and her older sister, Angel Dahnke of Tampa, Fla. 

Lauren was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 20, 1988. Her family soon moved to Hagerstown, Md., where her father was the executive director of public mental health and addiction services for Washington County, and her mother was director of the Hagerstown Montessori School. Both parents were licensed mental health counselors.

In the summer of 2000 her family moved to Crozet, Va. Lauren attended Mountaintop Montessori School in Charlottesville, where her mother was a member of the Board of Directors. She then attended Henley Middle School and graduated with honors from Western Albemarle High School.

Lauren majored in computer science at Piedmont Virginia Community College and Radford University, and after graduation was employed at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington campus, as an information technology specialist.

She was a cartoonist and a published poet. She spoke multiple languages and played the piano, guitar and African drums. Lauren pursued a lifelong interest and participation in community soccer leagues in Hagerstown, Charlottesville and Wilmington. She also pursued active interests in Asian culture and languages.

Memorial gifts in Lauren’s name may be made to Unity of Charlottesville.