By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

WAYLAND (CBS) – There was an overflow of tears, and an overflow of friends and acquaintances at the First Parish church in Wayland as the community gathered to celebrate the life of 18 year old Lauren Astley.

The Wayland teenager’s body was found in a marshy area of the town on July 4th, the accused killer her on-again, off-again boyfriend 18 year old Nate Fujita.

After days of mourning the devastating loss, the two-hour program was filled with remembrances, prayer and songs that reflected the young woman’s life.

“Lauren was a wonderful, sweet girl,” said her former Sunday school teacher Peeky Abbott.  “Such potential and such a bright future.”

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

There were tributes by some of her best friends, songs by The Muses, the acapella group in which she was a member. Her voice could be heard in a recording of the song “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie”, in which Lauren once played the starring role.

Her father Malcolm Astley called her a butterfly they had to let go and honored her talent and zest for life.  But he also used the moment to address the concern of teen dating violence.

“We can better inform our young people about the challenge of love’s powerful influence on our lives,” he said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

It was a backdrop to the service that was powerful for many.

“I’m hoping more people are moved as I am to remedy the communication gap between boys and girls,” said Nikki Davis who attended the service, but never met Lauren Astley.

Others hoped the family would find comfort by the community outpouring.

“I hope they know there’s always new life in ways we don’t understand, and I hope they know the community does care,” said Rev. Stephen Voysey of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in the neighboring town of Weston.

On the program Lauren Astley’s family encouraged donations to a fund in her name that promotes educational programs, including the development of healthy teen relationships.

Comments (5)
  1. Stephen Rost says:

    Merciful and Sacrificing is Our Loving Lord.

    A Shield In Death or in Life.

    Our Lord is not Master of The Sword

    Honor and Glorify Him as Father then Son

    Understand we are at our greatest act of Childsplay

    When nothing is sought to be Won.

  2. Liz says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of this tragedy. I do not know either of the families involved, but I pray for the peace of both. What I believe is this: We come to this earth in order for our God to experience Himself through us. God blesses us, and loves us, and our souls learn a cosmic lesson through our physical lives. Not only does this concern the life of an individual person, but also everyone they touch. Only love is real. To Lauren’s parents, thank you. You created a child of love and joy. Blessings upon your eyes, and upon your heads, and upon the ground beneath you. To Nathaniel’s parents: You will come through this tragedy, along with your son, and you will survive, with a profound understanding of love and the power of it. Blessings upon you, and may you feel love. Lauren is in peace and joy with her Creator. The Bible says that we are to rejoice when a soul leaves us. I know it hurts beyond belief. But please know, she is now existing in a state of joyful bliss. “All things work together for our good.”

    1. Cher says:

      Don’t mean to be mean or funny; however the Bible says “All things work together for goof TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM….” It’s important we include that bit…..

  3. donny says:

    Young men need to urgently be taught to accept rejection. Move on. It’s NOT ALL ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT!

    These acts of violence are far too common. We can change things but these young boys/men have to experience the pain and deal with it – not act out through violence.

    Such a waste…

  4. Cher says:

    Don’t mean to be mean or funny; however the Bible says “All things work together for goof TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM….” It’s important we include that bit…..

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