Marion Lawrence Jr. '54
February 18, 2021 3:43 PM
updated: February 18, 2021 4:03 PM
Marion O. Lawrence Jr.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1927 – FEBRUARY 5, 2021
Obituary of Marion O. Lawrence JR
Marion Otis Lawrence Jr. was born on September 25, 1927 in Pickens, Mississippi to Alice Lillian Purcell Lawrence and Marion Otis Lawrence Sr. He was the youngest of five children. His siblings were Gladys, Roy, Dora Dean, and Edith.
M.O. grew up in Pickens and graduated from Camden High School. He then joined the United States Navy in September 1945. He served in the Navy until September 1949. He married Evelyn Billingslea on June 16, 1949 in Goodman, Mississippi. He had gone to school
with her all his life, but they never dated until after high school. They married while he was on leave and then returned to where he was on active duty in Corpus Christi, Texas. After his discharge in September, they moved to College Station, Texas so he
could attend Texas A&M University.
Evelyn and M.O. have three daughters, who were all born in Bryan, Texas. He was Daddy to Lillian Janice, born in 1950 and passed away in 1995, Marilyn, born in 1955, and Laura Catherine born in 1964. His was father-in-law to Rob, Rick, and Dwain. He was Granddaddy
to Jennifer, Cheryl, Jeff, and Steven Knudsen; to Rob, Justin, and Jillian Gerasimowicz; and to Kyle, Cori, Colin, and Colton Decell. He was also a great granddaddy to Lydia, Wesley, Dallin, Hayden, Hunter, Kailey, Hudson, and Evelyn Grace (due in one week).
M.O. graduated from Texas A&M in May 1955 with an Architectural Degree. He began his career as an architect working for several firms throughout the years. Those firms were in Bryan, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi, where the family moved in 1957. After moving
back to Bryan in 1962, he continued working for others until he started his own business. He formed the MO Lawrence and Associates Architectural Firm in 1971. He was a licensed architect in twelve states. Many buildings on the TAMU campus were drawn by his
firm. His final large project was the headquarters for Texas A&M System, called the John B. Connally Building. He called this building his largest and most outstanding piece of work. In 1992, he sold his firm and retired. He had been an architect for 37 years,
from 1955 to 1992.
M.O. became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1973, twenty-one years after Evelyn had joined the Church. Their marriage was sealed for time and all eternity in the Temple of God on July 3, 1974. He held many church callings over
the years, including serving as Bishop of the College Station Student Ward of Texas A&M. M.O. and Evelyn served a full-time senior couple mission for the Church in the South Carolina, Columbia Mission from 1993-94. They also served as temple workers in the
Dallas and Houston Latter-day Saint Temples.
His beloved wife, Evelyn passed away on March 8, 2017. They had been married for 67 years. He was a great example of enduring to the end joyfully, especially in the four years since Evelyn’s passing. M.O. passed away peacefully at home at the age of 93. He
is now reunited in heaven with Evelyn, Jan, and all his loved ones on the other side of the veil.