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Obituaries

Lynda Lawrence, 71

Lynda Arlene Sims Lawrence, 71, passed away Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Cornelius, NC. Lynda was born in Lubbock, Texas on May 22, 1945 to Archie and Jonnie Katherine (Kay) Sims. She graduated from Three Way High School in 1963, honored as salutatorian while excelling as a multi-sport athlete. She received her Bachelors in Physical Education from Texas Tech University in 1967. While still studying at Texas Tech, Lynda married her husband of nearly 40 years, Stephen on December 17, 1966. While Stephen served the US Air Force as an instructor pilot at Reese Air Force Base, Lynda cared for their growing family, giving birth to Elena and Robert. It was during the time that Stephen was called to Vietnam that Lynda would first show her indomitable strength of character and determination, maintaining their home, caring for two toddlers, all while earning her Master’s Degree and inspiring many around her. Lynda was the anchor and stability of her family as they moved to Topeka, KS; Shreveport, LA; Grand Forks, ND; Waltham, MA; and Fairfax, VA. She then gave birth to their third and final child, Michael. The family returned to Lubbock, TX as Lynda went on to run her own successful real estate business, again while raising a young child and caring for her ailing mother, husband, and then daughter. She endured the tragic successive losses of her husband and daughter with grace and dignity, never allowing her sadness to dampen her love and care for others. Late in life she moved to Cornelius, NC to be closer to her grandchildren, who brought her great joy and whose lives she enriched immeasurably. It was in NC that Lynda met Bob Slusser, a kind and loving companion who made her smile and settled her heart. Lynda’s life is marked by an extraordinary legacy of caring in the midst of adversity, self-sacrificial love, and a remarkable spiritual gift of making everyone around her feel known and loved. She made life-long friendships from chance encounters and is often remembered as that one special friend that just “got me” no matter how long life had kept them separated. In all her many moves, she nurtured not only her own home but cultivated a warm community, known by everyone through her long walks or working in her treasured gardens. She left each neighborhood better for her having lived there. Her genuine love for others and natural cheerfulness often provided a welcome respite from life’s troubles and provided a needed sanctuary for those blessed to know her as a friend. Her fierce love for her family and friends was eclipsed only by her love for her God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Lynda is preceded in death by her husband Stephen Hard Lawrence, daughter Elena Lynn Lawrence and sisters-in-love Lana Lisbeth Lawrence and Nellie Thomas Lawrence. She is survived by her companion Robert Slusser; sons, Robert Stephen and his wife Kelley Vance Lawrence, and Michael Graham and his wife Xiaoyu Guo Lawrence; and her five loving grandchildren Stephen Alexander (Alec) Lawrence, Zachariah Vance Lawrence, Lucia Carolina Lawrence, Cecilia Violet Lawrence, and Daniel Zhongqiu Lawrence. She is also survived by her brother, Kenneth Lee and his wife Harriet Sims, brother-in-law John Frederick Lawrence, a niece, four nephews, cousins, and many special friends. Visitation will be at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville, NC on Wednesday, May 17th from 6:00pm-8:00pm and a Funeral Service at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home on Thursday, May 18th at 10:00am. Lynda will be buried alongside her husband and daughter in Lost Prairie Cemetery in Texas with a graveside service on her 72nd birthday, Monday, May 22nd at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Young Survival Coalition, a support group for young women facing breast cancer–a case close to Lynda’s heart after caring for her daughter during her battle with breast cancer. May Lynda’s memory be eternal! Friends may offer condolences to the family at www.raymerfh.com.

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