Sand in her toes
Salt in her nose
As go the waves
So also, she goes
The wave of joy that delivered Lauren Renee to the world on February 9, 1993, returned to reclaim our
precious Lauren far too soon. Lauren left us on May 6, 2023, following an extended and heartbreaking
battle with substance abuse.
Lauren was born in Jacksonville, Florida, where she spent the first years of her life building lifelong
connections with not only her parents, but also with her loving grandparents Nana June and Granddad
Anthony Sessions and Meme Sylvia and Papa Herbert Higginbotham, and great-grandmother Doug
Shuman. It was these relationships that formed the foundation of Lauren’s life, a life built on family first,
last, and always.
While Lauren loved her family, those closest to her would attest that her first love was the sea and
spending time at the beach. After spending the first four years of her life in her home town of
Jacksonville, Lauren’s childhood was in another beach community in the northwest Florida panhandle.
She attended Saint Mary’s Catholic School in Fort Walton Beach and graduated from Navarre High
School in 2011. After dancing her way through elementary and middle school, Lauren returned to the
water, lettering as a varsity swimmer at Navarre HS. During her final two years of high school, Lauren
also attended Pensacola Junior College, graduating with two years of college credit to go along with her
high school diploma.
Lauren’s passion for life, adventurous spirit, love for socializing with friends, and love for children and
animals were the hallmarks and joys of Lauren’s far-too short life.
In part because of this zest for life – along with a quick wit and hilarious way of delivering a story –
Lauren had an incredible capacity for collecting and loving friends. She developed and maintained close
relationships with friends throughout her life, whether she met them during her earliest elementary school
days or later in her life. Regardless of how long she had known them, Lauren made each person feel like
they had known each other for their entire lives.
Lauren was living with her father and step-mother, while preparing to begin her life adventure back in
Navarre with her boyfriend, Tyler Williams, at the time of her death.
Lauren is survived by her loving parents, Mother, Lisa Sessions and Father, Thomas Higginbotham;
Grandfather, Anthony Sessions, and Uncles Scott and Bryan Sessions; Aunt Julie Homeyer; and cousins
Lydia Jones and Scott and Adam Sessions; as well as loving step-parents Susan Higginbotham and
Joseph Mayes. While Lauren was Lisa and Tommy’s only child, she was surrounded by love in the form
of non-traditional siblings with whom she formed unbreakable bonds and who will miss her
tremendously: Kayla, Colby, Brett, Stephanie, Charlie, Jonathan, and Brady.
A celebration of Lauren’s life will be held on May 12, 2023 at 11:00 am at Cedar Bay Funeral Home, 405
New Berlin Rd in Jacksonville. Family will receive friends Friday morning starting at 10:00 am. The
memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Al Force of Oceanway Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Lauren’s name to Awakenings House, a private sober
living home for women only in Jacksonville Florida. Awakenings House is a nonprofit organization
focused on providing a safe environment to help women recovering from substance abuse.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Lauren Renee Higginbotham, please visit our floral store.