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Sydney Lau

sydney lau
Sydney Lau, age 22, of Iowa City, formerly New Hampton, Iowa, died August 20, 2023, at the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics in Iowa City. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 28, 2023, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton with Rev. James Goerend officiating the Mass. For those unable to attend the Mass in person please join the family via Livestream at the link below. https://forever.link/hugeback-johnson/sydney-denyse-lau Friends may greet the family from 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Monday. Sydney Denyse Lau, a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter, and friend passed away in Iowa City, IA on August 20, 2023. Born on January 9, 2001, in Oskaloosa, IA, Sydney was the cherished (favorite, actually) daughter of Dennis and Michelle (McAloon) Lau. She was a loving, intelligent, creative and generous woman, whose life was characterized by her passion for music, her love for her family and friends, and her commitment to her community. Sydney's early years were spent in Winner, SD before the family moved to New Hampton, IA in 2007. She attended St. Joseph Catholic School through the 8th grade and graduated from New Hampton High School in 2019. Sydney was a vibrant presence in her school community. She was a cheerleader for football and wrestling. She was active in musical theater. She was innately chic, and refused to compromise in her commitment to looking fabulous; she was appropriately voted Best Dressed of her class. She gained valuable life experience working at Poor Richards and as a barista for the Gathering Place coffee shop. After high school, Sydney attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Her ultimate goal was to have a career in healthcare, and she completed coursework toward that end. She also worked as a security guard for U of I Hospitals and Clinics. Her studies were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and she moved back to New Hampton, where she worked at MercyOne New Hampton Medical Center. While in New Hampton, she was a regular cantor at St. Joe’s Catholic Church. In the fall of 2022, Sydney returned to Iowa City and started a new position as a registration clerk at a U of I OB-GYN Clinic. This was a good fit for Sydney (although she was probably a very intimidating security guard). She enjoyed her work, and was a much-appreciated employee. She settled into Iowa City, a place she loved to live. She had a beautiful apartment and took much joy in making it her home. She had a rich social life and great friends. Sydney loved animals, especially her dogs Caesar and Baxter, and her cats Bosco and Waylon. She wore this love proudly, literally, and was the owner of many, many (many) shirts with cats on them. It would be inaccurate to say Sydney “enjoyed” playing cards. She made cards her war. For all she loved people, you really didn’t want to be on her team if you couldn’t pull your weight. She had high standards. Which is fair. Although she described herself as a horrible cook, she loved food, and she loved sharing good food with the people around her. She could pick the perfect place to eat, and would do so on family trips. But her hometown favorite was always the Pub at the Pinicon. In her own words, Sydney recently wrote (in a profile for her place of work) that “kindness from strangers” and “laughter with people I love” were two of her favorite things (in addition to parking spaces she didn’t have to parallel park in). She lived that way. Much longer ago, when she was a little girl, Sydney also wrote the following about herself:“Sydney Denyse Lau. Who loves cats, likes green, and is tall. Sister of Shannon, September, Summer, Dustin, Dane, Derek, David, Devin, Samantha, Stephanie, Shawnessy, and Shelby. Who loves family, friends, and cats. Who feels lucky to have a dog. Who needs food, shelter, and air. Who gives respect, caring, and fairness. Who fears spiders, ghosts, and heights. Who would like to see Ireland. Who dreams of having a big house with lots of cats. Who is a student of Mrs. Heying. Syd.” The girl who wrote that certainly lived in the woman she became. Second only to family and friends, Sydney’s passion was music. Sydney was music personified. She had the most beautiful voice, and shared it often. She loved singing *for* people, at wedding celebrations, funeral masses, and sharing her rendition of the National Anthem at sporting events. She loved singing *with* people, in intimate gatherings with family and friends. The songs the family has chosen for Sydney’s Celebration of Life are hymns she loved to sing. Sydney was also a prolific composer of original music, and played a variety of instruments. She had a music studio set up in her bedroom at her home in New Hampton (although she could sometimes be found in her closet laying down tracks because “the house is too noisy!”). Her style ranged from wickedly satirical to gut-wrenchingly sublime. She revealed herself through the songs she wrote: her music is joyful and playful, gorgeous and heartfelt, often hilarious, never taking itself too seriously. One of her creations, “In Between,” written and performed by Sydney, was chosen by her family to accompany her on her Honor Walk at the University of Iowa Hospital, just prior to the organ recovery surgery that ultimately saved three lives. This song will also accompany Sydney’s family as they walk with her one last time during her Celebration of Life. GODSPEED, SYD-SYD!!!!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!! Sydney Denyse Lau was brilliant, in all senses of the word. We would say she sparkled, but she would make fun of us for that. She exuded grace and love. She was so vivacious, just brimming with life and creativity. She is survived by her loving parents, Dennis and Michelle Lau of New Hampton, IA; twelve siblings and their spouses and children, Shannon Lau and Greg Allen (Forest and Meadow Allen) of Northfield, MN, Ember Lau and Adam Bell (Magdalene Bell) of Des Moines, IA, Summer and Jeff Swenson (Isaac, Lila, and Ruby Swenson) of Belmond, IA, Dustin and Amanda Lau (Cecilia and Emma Lau) of Cedar Falls, IA, Dane Lau and Rocio Romero Ramirez (Melissa Marron Romero) of Iowa City, IA, Derek Lau and Erin Bernardy of St. Paul, MN, David and Meg McAloon of Atlanta, GA, Devin Lau and Eileen Tucker of Cedar Rapids, IA, Samantha Lau and Kelly Larkin (Baby Larkin) of Fernley, NV, Stephanie Lau and Sean Corpstein of Ankeny, IA, Shawnessy Lau and Gunnar Mills of Salt Lake City, UT, Shelby Lau and Matthew Gleason of New Hampton, IA; and grandmother, Phyllis Lau of Mason City, IA. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Harry and Tres McAloon, and paternal grandparents, Paul and Velma Lau. In Lieu of flowers please make donations to Iowa Donor Network https://www.iowadonornetwork.org/give/make-a-contribution

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  1. Such sad news. Sending special thoughts and prayers to the entire family and her many friends. Such a beautiful angel here on earth, and now, singing with the angels up above.

  2. Prayers to the family! May the gift of organ donation bring you some peace as she will forever be a hero 💚💚

  3. So very sorry to hear this. Her talent was a gift to our parish. Prayers and sympathy to her family. May she rest in peace.

  4. Thoughts and prayers to all those that loved her. She touched so many lives with her beautiful voice and just by being the sweet person that she was.

  5. This is so heartbreaking 💔. What a choir she has joined! Our sympathy to her family and friends.

  6. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Let the fond memories and of her and Gods love help you through this most painful time.

  7. My deepest sympathy to Sydney’s family. She was a gift to our parish and heaven has a singing angel. Prayer’s🙏.

  8. This is just heartbreaking 💔!! 😔. Sincere condolences to the family and friends of this young lady.

  9. God Bless Sydney for her selflessness and heroic actions of organ donation making this tragic loss a blessing to someone else. May God be with her family and loved ones during this time of grief and days ahead! 🙏

  10. So sorry for your loss! She was such a great singer and we enjoyed every time we got to listen to her. Sending our prayers. Jeanne and David Roder

  11. Thoughts and prayers to the Lau family. She touched many lives with the sound of her beautiful voice. My deepest sympathy.

  12. Thought and Prayers to the family. Being your neighbors since I was 11 and being able to play with your kids and grandkids was amazing and Sydney always made sure I was included and I loved singing in the Church Choir with Sydney, Shelby and Shawnessee. She will be missed greatly. God needed her for a reason …just feels like it was way to soon.

  13. My deepest sympathy to the Lau family for the loss of your beautiful daughter/sister. I truly loved listening to Sydney sing at mass and weddings.

  14. Our heartfelt sympathy to Michelle, Dennis and all of Sydney’s family. What a beautiful gal and what a tremendous loss! Know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. So sorry for your loss of such a beautiful young lady. She will be missed by everyone, especially our church family for her beautiful voice. Hugs and prayers to Dennis and Michelle and her family.

  16. Our deepest sympathy to the Lau Family! Sydney was a blessing from above. From her beautiful voice to her kind nature. She will be missed by so many!

  17. I can only imagine the worship going on in heaven-lots of love and prayers to the Lau family! Thinking of you all! ❤️

  18. My deepest sympathy to Sydney’s family. She was a special gift of God and has blessed so many lives because of who she was and the special gifts she shared with all of us, especially her beautiful voice.

  19. Deepest sympathies to the Lau family. Sydney was so talented and her beautiful voice was enjoyed by so many. Heaven has gained a very special angel. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  20. Our heartfelt sympathy to the entire Lau family. Sydney was a gift to many! Prayers for all during this difficult time.

  21. Thoughts and prayers to the Lau family on the loss of your talented, beautiful daughter/ sister, Sydney. Your singing angel holds a special place in our hearts. 🙏🏻

  22. Syd was one of a kind. She made me laugh every. single. day. I love her with my entire soul and she will be dearly missed by all of us. My heart is with her entire family at this time.

  23. Such a beautiful young talented lady. God must have wanted her angelic voice in heaven with Him. May she R.I.P. my prayers are with all her family 🙏🙏🙏

  24. Thoughts and prayers to the Lau family. What a blessing she was for our parish. I will miss listening to her beautiful singing.

  25. My heart goes out to all of Sydney’s family. She could capture your attention with her beautiful vocal talent. Deepest sympathy and continued prayers to all of Sydney’s family.

  26. So very very sorry for the family’s devastating loss. Praying for comfort and strength for all!!! 🙏🏻🤍

  27. I can just picture and imagine the glory of Sydney singing with the angels in heaven. She was so beautiful in every way, she will be so missed. God Bless your family as you mourn her passing. Our prayers are for strength and comfort for each of you.

  28. Our deepest sympathy to Sydney’s family. She was a beautiful young lady and we always enjoyed her singing.

  29. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this most difficult time 💝💝💝

  30. Our deepest sympathy to the Lau family. Sydney was so sharing of her beautiful talent and she will be missed. Prayers for the family and friends who are grieving the loss.

  31. Our deepest sympathies to the Lau family. Prayers of peace and comfort today and all the days to come. Bless you.

  32. Sydney was such a blessing and a wonderful person. In her staff highlight, one of her favorite things listed was “kindness from strangers.” Sydney’s kindness to others, including myself, will be a memory forever. Sydney will be missed. My sincere sympathy to her family and friends.

  33. Sydney was such a beautiful young woman and had such a beautiful voice that she shared at many Masses. My sympathy to Michele, Dennis and family.

  34. Hugs and prayers for the family. A beautiful young lady gone from us to sing with the angels in heaven. It was such a moving experience to listen to her sing. May she rest in peace.

  35. Our sympathy to all of the Lau family. Sydney shared her musical voice with so many at church and it was a joy to hear her sing. Now she can sing with the choirs of angels above. May your family find peace and comfort in her memory in the days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  36. Dear Dennis and Michelle Lau and Family
    My heart aches for you as I read the loss of
    Sidney but so agree, she is singing with the
    Angels in Heaven. God Bless you all.

  37. I am so saddened to hear of Sydney’s passing. She was such a light at the clinic and someone we could count on to get things done. She was great at welcoming all of our patients to the clinic with her kind heart and huge smile. I can’t count the amount of times Sydney was mentioned in patient comments for her kindness.

    Abby Costello (ARNP UIHC)

  38. Sydney was an amazing person to be around, she will be greatly missed ❤️ Prayers to the Lau family in this difficult time

  39. A beautiful young life taken way too soon. Our prayers go out to the entire Lau family at this difficult time.

  40. I was so fortunate to work with Sydney the past nine months. She brought a brightness to our clinic with her humor, positive attitude and kindness towards everyone she encountered. We are so grateful that she touched our lives, even for a short time.

  41. God called a beautiful young angel from our midst to be with Him in Heaven. Our sympathy and prayers are with your family.

  42. Sydney was the sweetest human. I didn’t get many interactions with her but if our lives aligned locationally, I think we would have been quick friends. One of the first interactions I had with her:

    About a year after my sister, Meg, began dating her brother, David, we were at the same speech events in high school. She was asking what my event was the first time and I said, “I’m not actually good at anything I’m just here to make shit up.” She knew right away, “I love watching improv!!”

    I watched her musical theatre performance. It was the first time I had ever heard her sing. I was stunned and shocked at the amazing, booming sound she could produce. I wish I could have heard her perform live more.

    She then came to my improv set. My family was not there and my friends events were going at the same time as mine. I remember her giving me a little wave and smile while I was drawing my characters and situations. Having a familiar face in the crowd was so comforting.

    After my set she came running up to me gushing over how great I did. “Where did you come up with that?!” “I could never.”

    Without even knowing each other beyond a few snap chats and meeting in-person once, she was my whole support system that day. Sydney, you wore your heart on your sleeve and were the most genuine human; you will be missed dearly.

  43. Our sympathies to all those who had the privilege of being in her life. A life well lived – in so many ways.

  44. Some years ago we heard the Lau family sing together. They were beautiful singers together. Our hearts in stmpathy with you. Ron Beverly Hummel. Ankeny, Ia

  45. Our deepest sympathy to the Lau family. Thoughts and prayers to all who are grieving Sydney’s loss. What a beautiful and talented young woman. She had the voice of an angel and feel so blessed she shared her wonderful talent with our community.

  46. Her love for singing and love for all will always be remembered and in our hearts! Rest in Peace, God bless her soul and her family.

  47. This is one of the most beautiful obits ever. We so enjoyed her singing at mass. Sending our deepest sympathy and prayers to the family.
    Kathy and George Bouskz

  48. Sydney’s positive impact on all of those she encountered will leave a lasting impact. She was truly special. I’m absolutely devastated for Dennis, Michelle & family and the countless others that have been blessed to have known Sydney. Rest in peace you beautiful soul.

  49. So very sorry for your huge loss. She impacted so many people with her beautiful voice. May God hold you all extra close now and the days to come. Rest in peace Sydney….fly high
    Steve and Shellie Boos

  50. So saddened to hear of the loss of your Sydney …please know our thoughts and prayers are with your family ~ God Bless ~ Dean & Amy Engel


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