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Lauren Mallory Elder

Lauren Mallory Elder, 28, of Morris, Ill., passed away tragically Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Morris, as the result of an automobile accident in which she was a passenger.

Born Aug. 15, 1984, in Mattoon, Ill., Lauren is the beloved daughter of Dr. Joseph Ben and Susan Reider-Mallory of Morris. Lauren attended Albemarle Middle School and High School in North Carolina, as well as Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh. It was there that she became active in sports and participated in soccer, swimming and track.

After moving to Morris, Lauren then graduated from Morris Community High School with the Class of 2002. She continued her education at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Ill., where she played soccer, and later at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. It was while attending Parkland that Lauren met Jason Elder, whom she later married on April 21, 2007, in the First Presbyterian Church in Morris.

Lauren was a loving and compassionate person who exuded endless energy. She will be remembered for the unique relationship that she had with her much-loved daughter. Raegen was the true love of Lauren’s life and together they made each other stronger.

Lauren was a devoted and loving mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. She was passionate about animals and had tremendous sense of caring, which was not only expressed toward the animals she loved, but especially to her family and friends.

Lauren had the unique ability to make a new friend almost immediately feel close to her. She was one that always had an ear to listen and could be confided in. Whereas Lauren was extremely compassionate, she was enthusiastic about life and would help anyone in need. She will be loved and missed forever.

Survivors include her parents, Dr. Joseph Ben and Susan Mallory; cherished daughter, Raegen Ann Elder; Raegen’s father, Jason Elder of Washington, D.C.; two brothers, Joseph (Brittany) Mallory of Peoria, Ill., and Ross Mallory of Mexico, Mo.; two sisters, Sarah Mallory of Chicago and Kate Mallory of Morris; her maternal grandparents, Bob and Joan Reider of Peoria; aunts and uncles Karen (Pat) Brown of Annapolis, Md., Wendy Sawyer of New Orleans, La., Bob Reider of Springfield, Ill., Christine (Rockton) Hitt of St. Charles, Ill., and Carol (Chris) Benson of Palatine, Ill.; and cousins Angela Reider-Caputo, Andrew Stone, Joe Stone, Kristen Livoti, Jon Gutierrez, Michael (Laura) Benson, Julie (Jim) Thomson, Jenifer Benson, Lisa Benson, Lindsey Hitt and Trevor Hitt; as well as many friends. 

Lauren was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Dr. Joseph R. and Dorothy Mallory.

Visitation and video tribute will be at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 East Jackson Street (at Illinois 47) in Morris on Thursday, July 18, from 4 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 7 p.m. The Rev. Roy Backus will officiate. A family burial will follow on Friday in Dodge Grove Cemetery in Mattoon, Ill., where Lauren will be laid to rest with her grandparents.

Pallbearers will be Chris Benson, Michael Benson, Rockton Hitt, David Balfrey, Ryan Halland, and Jim Thomson.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts Lauren’s memory to We Care of Grundy County, 520 West Illinois Ave., Morris, Ill. 60450.

Friends may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences to the family bylogging onto

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes Ltd. in Morris. For additional information, call (815) 942-2500.

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