1949 – 2021
James Lawrence, age 72, was called to his heavenly Father’s home on Tuesday, November 9, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan.
Calling hours took place from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday, November 15, at Lindley-Robertson-Holt Funeral Home. A visitation with the family was held at Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Navasota on Monday, November 15, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., with a rosary following at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass was celebrated at Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Navasota on Tuesday, November 16, at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Elias Lopez as the celebrant. James was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Stoneham, with a celebration of life that followed at Whitehall Community Center.
Serving as pallbearers were Rodney Pearson, Eric Villarreal, Patrick Malek, Chris Sechelski, Ricky Lane, Evan Lawrence, Chuck Lawrence and Kevin Bosse. Named as honorary pallbearers were Eddie Sullivan, Trax Poteet, Rocky Harris, Bobby Sechelski and Ernie Arrington.
James was born on September 5, 1949 to Edmund James and Ruth Elise (Sullivan) Lawrence in Navasota, Texas. When James was three years old, his father passed away, and his mother raised James and his siblings. James attended Navasota High School and graduated in 1968.
On August 9, 1980, James was married to the love of his life, Jeanny Sechelski, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Navasota. He always said he was proud to have married the most beautiful woman in town. After the birth of their first son Michael, James and Jeanny moved to Bremond, Texas, where they enjoyed living in the country for 10 years, and where their second son, Brian was born. In 1992, they returned to their hometown of Navasota to be closer to family and friends. At that time, James began working as a surveyor and superintendent with Glenn Fuqua Incorporated and contributed to major regional infrastructure and subdivision projects until his retirement in 2015.
James never did anything halfway. If he hosted a holiday party, he made it the best one of the season, complete with the best Oysters Rockefeller and seafood anyone had eaten—followed by the best martinis. He cooked prize-winning ribs at the Go-Texan with his cookoff team. He was a multi-talented and brilliant craftsman and built his family’s camp house by hand at the deer lease in Del Rio where Jeanny, Michael and Brian would gather with family and friends when the kids were growing up. In the last few years, James built and custom-painted his own motorized bicycles, as well as camp and beach house signs that he sold at Round Top and gave as gifts. If anyone ever needed help with a project, James was the one to ask. He always knew how to solve a problem or get something done the right way.
James had a big heart and always found joy in doing things for others. If he went on a fishing trip, it made him happier to see someone else on his boat catch a fish than to catch one himself—though he himself was an excellent fisherman and had placed second in the CCA Star Tournament for big trout. He was also an excellent photographer and kept a wall of photographs in his fishing room that showed the smiles of his sons, relatives and friends through the years as they held their prized catches from their fishing and hunting adventures.
James often fished on weekends at the San Bernard River and Texas Gulf Coast. He loved going to the Brazos River and taking his boat to South Padre. He also enjoyed exploring state and national parks. Every year in his retirement, he looked forward to mapping out and taking a road trip with his wife Jeanny across the Western United States. He was an avid Cowboys and Aggies fan and had a tremendous sense of humor. He had a joke or good story ready at all times that could make everyone laugh, no matter the occasion or crowd.
James was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard Lawrence.
James is survived by his wife Jeanny Lawrence and their two sons Michael and Brian of Navasota; his son Clay Ferguson, wife Sarah and daughter Georgia of Austin; and his siblings John Lawrence and Betsy Bosse of Navasota. James is also remembered by brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Mikky Lawrence, David and Diane Villarreal, Bobby and Gloria Sechelski, Ernie and Susie Arrington, Joey and Dorothy Malek, John Sechelski and Jan O’Neill, Robert Foster and Cecelia Pearson, and Judy Sechelski; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and loved ones. He will be missed by many and is gone too soon.
In lieu of usual remembrances the family has suggested memorials in James’s name to the Navasota Knights of Columbus Council 9367, PO Box 555, Navasota, TX 77838-0555 or Christ Our Light Catholic Church, 510 Manley St., Navasota, TX 77868.
You are invited to sign the guestbook and leave condolences for the family at www.lindleyrobertsonholt.com.