On Sunday March 31, 2019 the precious life of Mary Lauren DeGeorge departed from this world. She was born in Birmingham, AL, to Otis Robert Clements, Jr. and Mary Bullock Clements on April 16, 1948. She attended Miss Howard’s School for Girls in Birmingham. She received BS and MS degrees from Troy University in Counseling and an Education Specialist degree in Counseling and Human Services from FSU.
Lauren was actively involved in the Bay County academic community. She served as a counselor for Bay District schools for over 25 years and taught an evening parenting class.
Lauren was a founding member and president of the Bay County Counselor’s Association, founding member and president of the Bay County Preservation Society, Teacher of the Year at Shaw Adult Center (1999) and served on the Boards of several other community, professional and non-profit organizations. She was an avid runner and participated in marathons, triathlons, and many charitable runs. Preservation and restoration of buildings in Panama City was a passion and she owned and was personally involved in the restoration of six homes including her residence, the Joshua Mercer Sapp home which was placed on the National Registry in October 2003, and in 2004 by the State of FL for its preservation.
In 2005 Lauren became the first and to date only female Mayor of Panama City, FL after defeating a 24 year incumbent based on a platform of citizens’ rights, intelligent planning, and open government. She served 2005-2007.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sons Eron Patrick Ayers and Owen W. Ayers IV (Evan), sisters Nora Ila Clements Cain and Carol Elaine Clements Casey. She is survived by son Adam C. Ayers, brothers O.R. Clements, III (Sandra), Michael Clements, one niece and several nephews and her beloved dog Pee Wee.
A memorial service will be held on May 4, 2019 at 10am at the Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 2403 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL with Reverend Clyde Ellison officiating. Family will receive friends there from 9 – 10am. Interment will be at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Hwy 231, immediately following the service.
There will be a celebration of life gathering at Lauren’s home, the Sapp house, at 224 East 3rd Ct, PC, FL following the interment.