After graduating together from Hewlett High School in 2009, Michelle Vaysman and Lauren Marcus both attended the University of Florida, and both pledged the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.
The girls first met when Vaysman moved to Woodmere at age 7. “We did everything together — we were inseparable,” she said. “Lauren was very unique, and she was full of life and so positive.”
Marcus, a resident of Woodmere, was struck by private company garbage truck at 2:16 a.m. on Aug. 17, when Marcus was crossing north to south on West 57th Street on Madison Avenue in Manhattan., according to city police. She died from her injuries on Aug. 19. She was 22. The police said there was no apparent criminality.
Her death has been especially difficult for Vaysman, who is now in graduate school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It didn’t make sense, and it still doesn’t,” Vaysman said. “She was one of the ones who really followed her dreams, and this doesn’t happen to someone so perfect and loving.”
Marcus graduated from Florida in May with a degree in psychology, and had just completed her first week at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens.
Her brother Jonathan said she loved her dogs and cats and was always focused on her academics. “She loved being a [Florida] Gator,” he said. “She devoted her whole life to attending law school, and doing good in school was her first priority.”
Being around her family was also something Lauren enjoyed, Jonathan said. “She was a beautiful person on the inside and on the outside,” he said. “She always cared about friends and family more than herself.”
Her cousin Michael Kalfin, who lives in Philadelphia, said that all eyes were on her whenever she walked into a room. “She had an infectious smile, incredibly brilliant mind and a nurturing heart,” Kalfin said.
Lauren’s funeral service in Rockville Centre on Aug. 22 was standing-room-only, according to Jonathan. “Hundreds of people attended the funeral — you couldn’t even get in the doors,” he said. “She touched so many people’s lives.”