WALTER R. LAWRENCE, M.D., 79, of Springfield, died Saturday evening, May 14, 2011, in Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa on June 25, 1931, the son of Walter B. and Alice (Meyer) Lawrence.
His childhood was spent in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. He was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati Medical School, completed his internship at Community Hospital, Springfield, and completed his residency in general surgery at Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Lawrence joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, South Dakota for two years. In 1965, he was awarded the Airman's Medal for Valor. He continued his service in the USAF Reserves, and retired as a Colonel. Upon his return to Springfield, he opened his medical practice in 1966, and served our community until 1990. He served in several leadership roles in the medical community, including Chief of Staff at Mercy Medical Center and president of the Clark County Medical Society. He later worked at the Industrial Medical Clinic, Dayton for several years until his retirement from the practice of medicine. Dr. Lawrence was active in the Boy Scouts of America and received their Silver Beaver Award for his devoted service to the scouts. He was an Eagle Scout and vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. He completed Wood Badge training with two beads, attended the world Jamboree in Japan in 1971, and several national Jamborees. He had a life-long interest in music and art, and in his retirement, his interests turned to painting and writing music and songs.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joanne (Smith) Lawrence; three children and spouses, Dr. Walter James and Diana Lawrence of Enterprise, Alabama, Dr. Alice Anne and Theodore E. Frazier of Jackson, Ohio, and Dr. David Robert and Karen Lawrence of Westerville, Ohio; eleven grandchildren, Melissa, Rebecca, Amanda, Hannah, Haley, Taylor, Grant, Andrew, Nathaniel, Morgan, and Brady; and a step-brother, Donald Hessler. He was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Theodore E. Frazier II.
A gathering of family and friends will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday in the LITTLETON & RUE FUNERAL HOME. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home with Pastor Wendell Hakala officiating.
Burial with military honors will be held Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Tecumseh Council, Boy Scouts of America, 326 S. Thompson Ave., Springfield, OH 45506