He was born January 2, 1938, near Big Cabin, Oklahoma, the son of George Washington and Lena McKinney. They preceded him in death as did a son Brent, a sister Leoda McKinney Ellsworth, his brothers-in-law George Ellsworth and Irvin Decker, as well as nephew Robbie Ellsworth.
Lawrence was a 1956 graduate of Galva Chieftan High School and played collegiate football when he attended Emporia Teachers College. He also attended Wichita State University and majored in electrical engineering. He married Shirley Tector at Galva Methodist Church in 1958. Five sons were born to this union, Douglas (Joyce), Scott (Myo), Mark (Jana), Kevin (Candee) and Brent (Kim). Brent died in 1994. Grandchildren carrying on his legacy are Alyssa (Craig), Krystal, Phil, Cara (Lance), Leann, Brandon, Michael, Trevor, Janae, Jacob and Samantha. Great-grandchildren are Hanna, Treyton, Brodi, January and Emma. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and special in-laws Connie Decker, Kendall and Judy Tector, and Larry and Terie Tector.
He worked in various positions in central Kansas before his nearly three decade professional career with IBM in which he worked in and around Wichita and McPherson. Lawrence was a member and leader of First United Methodist Church in McPherson, KS. Over the years, he was an active volunteer with the various church activities, the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, local Kiwanis, the Census Bureau, McPherson Convention and Visitor Bureau, and Meals on Wheels. He and his family enjoyed travels and camping across much of this great nation, was an avid fisherman, videographer, skilled horseshoe tosser, a gardener, a coin collector, dedicated Sunday School teacher and most of all, a Bible scholar. He particularly relished being around his grandchildren in whatever they were doing.
A Celebration of Life will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at First United Methodist Church, 1200 E. Kansas Ave., McPherson, Kansas 67420. A graveside service will follow at Empire Cemetery, south of Galva, Kansas.
Memorial donations may be given to the First United Methodist Church or Kindred Hospice in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.