APPLETON – Lauren Ann (Hartman) Arkens, 34, passed away peacefully at home the morning of April 18, 2019, displaying the same level of grace, strength and determination she brought to a lifetime of challenges battling the lung disease known as cystic fibrosis.
Lauren consistently showed the world a sweet smile, even in her final days, as she publicly shared her journey and drew motivation from friends and family, near and far. In reality, it was Lauren who delivered a heaping helping of inspiration with a ferocity that belied her tender nature. Her ability to maintain a positive disposition despite living under the relentless cloud of CF was nothing short of remarkable.
Lauren was born December 4, 1984, in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Geralyn (Noskowiak) and David Hartman. She was a 2003 graduate of Xavier High School, where she excelled in basketball and cross country. Lauren met her future husband, Tyler, during her freshman year at St. Norbert College, and he would remain by her side through sickness and health. She and Tyler welcomed their daughter, Lily, into the world not long after Lauren’s graduation in 2007, and they married in 2008.
The gift of a lung transplant on Christmas Eve 2015 gave Lauren an opportunity to enjoy a more active lifestyle again, highlighted by completing a 5K race. Armed with an intimate understanding of how difficult the CF journey can be, Lauren and Tyler then established the Breath of Life Foundation to provide financial assistance to CF families in need.
Lauren and Tyler continued their love story by jumping head-first into life when they purchased Green Bay Floral and Greenhouse in January 2017, and together they worked to build a customer-focused business that brings smiles and beauty to every life event.
In addition to her immediate family and parents, Lauren is survived by her siblings, Lynn (Tony) Smet and their children, Lillian and Jerome; Ryan (Sara) Hartman, and their children, Nicholas and Claire; her grandmother, Therese Noskowiak; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by grandparents Wilfred and Rita Hartman, and Gerald Noskowiak Sr.
Friends may call on Thursday, April 25, from 2-6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Parish, 312 S. State St. in Appleton. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow, officiated by Fr. James Baraniak, O. Praem., with burial in St. Mary’s Parish Cemetery. Ryan Funeral Home in De Pere is assisting the family.
No flowers or plants please, as Green Bay Floral and Greenhouse will be providing this service. Instead, donate to the Breath of Life Foundation or Lily’s college fund.
Tyler and the family would like to thank Lauren and Lily’s teams at Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the numerous family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and business partners who helped along the way. Lauren appreciated everyone’s support, whether it was in person, on Facebook, or through gifts to the foundation.
#TeamArkens – Lauren’s legacy will live on in each of you. All our best. All our love.
© 2019 Copyright Mike Dauplaise
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