Elizabeth Abernathy Lawrence
Elizabeth Abernathy Lawrence, 81, of Anna, died at 3:35 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, in Jackson, Mo.
She was born on April 25, 1935, in Paris, Tenn., the daughter of Willie J. Rufus Abernathy and Macy Pearl Ownby Abernathy. Unusual for the time, Elizabeth and her two younger sisters were delivered at home by a female physician.
When Elizabeth was 7, the family moved to Jackson, Tenn. She graduated from Jackson High School and started working for Southern Bell as an operator.
Her sister and H.C.’s mother lived in the same duplex in Tamms. They conspired to introduce the couple. H.C. always said he would never forget Elizabeth’s short-shorts at the picnic where they were introduced. H.C. and Elizabeth were married about a year later on July 23, 1954.
After they were married, Elizabeth continued to work at Southern Bell, while H.C. attended Trevecca Nazarene College. After her third child was born, Elizabeth started nursing school. She completed her classes to become a nurse but was injured in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Elizabeth’s desire to become a nurse drove her to enroll in nursing school again when her youngest son started college. She was finally able to become a registered nurse as she desired.
She enjoyed working at nursing homes. When the Illinois Veterans Home in Anna was turned over to a private company, she was instrumental in forcing the State of Illinois to regain control of the home due to the company’s treatment of the veterans.
Survivors include five children, Jack (Beverly) Lawrence, Julia “Jill” (Timothy) Halterman, James Clayton “J.C.” (Mary) Lawrence, Joseph Lawrence and Jonathan (Sherri) Lawrence; 10 grandchildren, Nicole, Whitney, Abraham, Jacob, Teresa, Tony, David, Julia, Christy and Leslie; 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Herman Clayton “H.C.” Lawrence, all of her siblings and one grandchild.
Funeral services were at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Crain Funeral Home in Tamms, with Pastor Rob Grief officiating. Interment was in McCrite Cemetery in Tamms.
Memorials can be made to McCrite Cemetery or Teen Challenge.
To leave online condolences, visit www.crainsonline.com.
Crain Funeral Home in Tamms was in charge of arrangements.