John R. “Doc” Lawrence, Jr., loved practical jokes, plays on words, the Patriots (but only because they were coached by Bill Belichick), M-I-Z-Z-O-U, stumping others with trivia, and almost all kinds of music . . . but most of all, he loved his four daughters, five grandkids, and two great-grandkids.
A festive gathering in the true spirit of Doc will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, at Meyers Funeral Home in Parkville. The family will “meet and greet” from noon until 2:00, at which time Doc’s Celebration of Life will begin. Don your favorite sports apparel or concert T-shirt because that is what Doc would have wanted . . . for everyone to be comfortable and gearing up for a game, some good music, and lots of LOUD conversation.
The only son of John R. and Beulah M. (Rhoades) Lawrence, Sr., John was born Oct. 21, 1935, in Kansas City, MO. He attended McCoy Elementary School and graduated from East High School in 1953. After briefly attending the University of Kansas City, he enrolled in Cleveland College of Chiropractic from which he graduated in 1959. He began his practice in Independence before moving it to Smithville, MO, in 1967. He practiced in Smithville for nearly fifty years, first on Bridge Street and then at his current location on Main Street. He was formerly president of the Smithville Jaycees and a longtime member of the Smithville Kiwanis.
John passed peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 4. He was preceded in death by his parents, half-sisters Flossie Lawrence and Helen Lawrence, and sisters Helen Courtney, Virginia Dennis, Rita Williams, and Rose Gresham.
He is survived by daughters Valerie (Bob) Halas, Vanessa Lawrence, Kelly Shanks, and Kami (Russ) Hunter; grandchildren Brian (McKenzie) Simmons, Tyler Simmons, Matt Halas, Sydney Halas, and Kristal Hunter; great-grandchildren Mason Simmons and Penelope Simmons; sisters Mary Fawver Williams and Martha Williams; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his ex-wife Ginger Lawrence with whom he shared more than 60 years of memories.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at St. Luke’s North Hospital-Barry Road, St. Luke’s North Hospital-Smithville, and the John Knox Village Care Center for all they did to bring comfort and joy not only to John but also to his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Stroke Foundation.