|Birth: ||Oct. 16, 1931|
|Death: ||Sep. 30, 2011|
Bill was born in Muskegon, Michigan, the son of William Henry and Gilletta (Gillette) Lawrence. He attended Muskegon Public Schools, and married (1)Greta Ann Hurst on July 27, 1951, at Jackson Avenue Congregational Church. They had three children, Lois Ann, William Dale Jr., and Earl Keith. He built his own home on Irwin Avenue in East Muskegon. He later became a single parent, and then married the love of his life, (2)Patricia Ann (Brooks) Collins, on August 1, 1964, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She was a pretty young widow with six small children; Jean Marie, Frances Terese, Mark Lowell, Timothy Allen, Cheryl Ann, and Anthony Michael. Their wedding reception was held at the Muskegon Conservation Club where Bill was also a member. They had two more children together, Anne Marie and Steven Dale, and then built their dream home together on Upper Silver Lake in Mears, off the shores of Lake Michigan, where they lived happily for many years. He was employed at Teledyne Continental Motors for 39 years, where he was a member and served for a time as union steward for the UAW. He was also a former member of Orchard View Congregational Church. After his retirement, he and his beloved 'Patty' enjoyed 22 years of winters in Sun City, Arizona, while summers were spent enjoying their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the lake home in Michigan. Over the years, Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing golf, and admiring classic cars, but he loved being with his family and friends at the many large get-togethers that comes with having eleven children. He was his own person, a giant of a man, with a great fashion sense and an iron grip of a handshake. He didn't mince words, and had a wit and humor all his own that often charmed, and would sometimes exasperate, his family. When scolded, he'd break into his favorite song, "Oh, Lord, It's Hard to Be Humble!" And we'd all laugh and roll our eyes. He was lovingly mischievious, and always looked for an opportunity to give someone a "bath" in the lake. He was easy-going, unable to be rushed, and you knew you had called the right phone number when he'd answer with his trademark, "Hello, hello!" Bill truly loved each and every one of his family with his own way of showing it - mostly with a BIG bear hug followed by a big kiss. He went peacefully home to be with his Lord, surrounded by his loving family, after a long struggle with Alzheimers Disease. Leaving to cherish his memory is his loving wife of 47 years, Patricia; his children, Lois Ann (Lee) Vernier, Will (Nancy) Lawrence Jr., Jean (Jim) Ritsema, Earl Lawrence, Fran (John) Conner, Mark Collins, Tim (Lynn) Collins, Cherie (Bryan) Gramlich, Tony (Kris) Collins, Anne (Dave) Cobb, and Steve (Jamie) Lawrence; 29 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; his only sister, Loretta (Mike) Timmich; brother-in-law, Dick (Shirl) Brooks; sister-in-law, Mary Signs; several nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother-in-law, Jerry Ross. A celebration of Bill's life was held at Sytsema Lee Chapel in Muskegon. In keeping with the investment Bill made in the lives of children, you may honor him with a memorial donation to Grace Adventures, 2100 N. Ridge Ave., Silver Lake, MI 49436, a summer youth camp on Upper Silver Lake.
If You Could See Me Now
When I'm Gone...
When I come to the end of my journey
and I travel my last weary mile,
just forget, if you can, that I ever frowned
and remember only my smile.
Forget unkind words that I've spoken;
remember some good that I've done,
forget that I ever had heartache
and remember that I've had loads of fun.
Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
and sometimes fell by the way;
just remember I fought some hard battles
and won them at close of the day.
Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
but in summer, just gather some flowers,
and remember that place where I lay.
Come in the shade of the evening,
when the sun paints the sky in the west,
and stand for a few moments beside me,
remembering only my best.
ONE LESS PERSON
by Saundra Sharp
One less person to talk to
Regardless the time of day
One less person attentively tuned
To every word that you say
One less person to praise you
One less person to scold
One less person to share your dreams
Be sad if they crumble or fold
One less person to tease you
To laugh at every bad joke
One less person to offer support
When struggling hardest to cope
One less person to wish you luck
Who really wants you to win
One less greeting card message
You'll never again need send
One less opinion to ask for
One less you'll have to take
One less person to worry and fret
At mistakes you foolishly make
One less person who knows you
Like no one again ever will
One less voice secure and familiar
Its comforting sound now still
One less person you'll never again
Share with your laughter or pain
One less person whose absence
Forever your world will change
One less person who leaves a void
As only a parent can do
One less person on earth to love
One less who will always love you
William Henry Lawrence (1906 - 1984)
Gilletta Gertrude Gillette Lawrence (1906 - 1989)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Mears, Michigan
Created by: Always with Love
Record added: Oct 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77647259
Added: Dec. 17, 2013
Bling Blinky of TEXAS
Added: Nov. 26, 2013
Happy Birthday, Dad! You are thought of, loved and greatly missed. Enjoy your earthly birthday in heaven with all our other family members who've gone before. My present to you is that your descendants will always be able to find and know you here!|
Added: Oct. 16, 2013
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