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Lawrence Edward Ward, 70, son of General Grant and Della Mae Strong, was born near Rippee, Mo., on Feb. 15, 1940, and passed away July 16, 2010. On Jan. 11, 1960, he and Irma Jean Evans were united in marriage in the home of the Rev. and Mrs. Tom Johnson, and to this union four children were born.
Lawrence was an auto mechanic, owning Ward’s Auto Service for nearly 30 years. After selling his business he worked for Cooper Lumber Co. in their small engine department. On his retirement he bought a guitar and started going to jam sessions which became his passion. On the evening of his passing he was at a jam session having the time of his life.
His love of old cars and trucks was evident in his restored Chevy pickup truck which took several trophies. His love of the outdoors was amazing, whether fishing or hunting with either gun or bow, or in taking care of his yard. He could spend hours watching his birds and the squirrels.
He was a devoted family man who lived spending time with them, especially his grandchildren. He was a great encourager to his children and grandchildren in all their activities and music whether it was classical, bluegrass, country or gospel. He also loved his musical family. He had a gift of storytelling and he would often entertain his family and friends with a good joke or story.
Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Jo Ann, as well as three infant siblings.
Lawrence is survived by his wife, Irma; two sons, Larry and wife, Kim, of Mansfield, and Royce, of Ava; and two daughters, Sandra Cudworth, of Ava, and Della Stout and husband, Tim, of Mansfield. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Kayla Cudworth and Jennifer Ward, both of Springfield, and Aaron James (A.J.) Stout and Ashley Stout, both of Mansfield. Also surviving is one sister, Shirley McCleskey, of Alamogordo, N.M., and two brothers, Roy James Ward and wife, Eva, and Starlet Ray Ward and wife, Glinda, all of Madisonville, Tenn.
He will also be deeply missed by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Sharon and Gary Norell, of Mansfield. He is also survived by a son-in-law, Gary Cudworth, and daughter-in-law, Jody Ward, of St. Louis, as well as several nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by a host of other family and friends and music buddies.
A visitation was hosted Sunday, July 18, at 2 p.m., in the Ava Family Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services were held Monday, July 19, in the Ava Assembly of God Church. Lawrence took his final ride in his beloved Chevy truck going to the Ava City Cemetery for his final resting place. All arrangements were under the care and direction of Ava Family Funeral Home.