Mr. Herman Russell Lawrence, age 81, of Rome, passed away on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at his residence.
Mr. Lawrence was born in Mobile, Alabama on August 30, 1942, son of the late Russell Foster Lawrence and the late Mary Nelle Jones Lawrence. He was also preceded in death by a son, David Russell Lawrence, and by a brother, James Harold Lawrence. Herman’s father was a farmer. He grew up helping his father with farming chores (driving the tractor to plow the fields by the age of ten). His father realized he couldn’t support and send his children to college on a farmer’s income and decided to move his family to Birmingham and look for a better job. His mother was a Registered Nurse and worked periodically.
Herman’s most important decision was made around six years old; his mother gathered he, his sister, Judy, and his brother, Harold, together and presented the Plan of Salvation to them, after which she told them to walk down the aisle the next Sunday and join the church. They already attended church regularly, so church wasn’t a new concept to them.
After moving to the Birmingham area (Minor Heights), Herman attended Minor High School and graduated in 1960. He began his college career at Birmingham Southern College. After a couple of years, he transferred to the University of Alabama where he finished his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1966. He co-oped his junior and senior years with Brown Engineering. His working semesters were spent in Huntsville, AL where he also attended UAH taking evening courses along the way. UAH is where he met his future wife, Margaret Diane Russell, during registration in September 1963. They were married on June 5, 1965.
After graduation from U of A, the couple returned to Huntsville where Herman took a job with Brown Engineering. After about a year with Brown, he began to look for a job outside the Space Program and eventually found that place with General Electric. In 1967, Herman took a job with General Electric Company in Rome, Georgia. He began his career with GE at the Medium Transformer Plant as Factory Contact Engineer and over the next 25 years worked his way to becoming the Manager of the Test Department. As GE was in the process of closing the Rome plant, he was sent to Monterrey, MX where GE was merging with the Mexican Transformer Plant, Prolec. He was sent as a consultant from 1996 to 2002. Herman worked a total of 35 years for GE when he retired. He then started his own consulting company “Transformer Hearts”. When he tired of traveling, he decided to close his company. This was around 2006.
When Herman and Diane moved to Rome, they joined Garden Lakes Baptist Church. There were many of the employees from GE attending this church. Over the years, Herman served as a deacon, church training director, worked with missions through Royal Ambassadors, maintenance coordinator, nominating committee, worked in the food pantry, and other volunteer jobs at the church.
In 1969, Herman and Diane adopted a son, David Russell Lawrence (4 days old) and in 1971 a son was born to them, Eric Russell Lawrence (Gina). Their boys were their pride and joy. After the boys grew up and finished college, they each married and started their families. Our precious grandchildren came along; (David’s children) Ashley Katherine “Ashley Kate” (Jaylen), David, Jr. “Big D”, Sarah Grace and Philip Lawrence, (Eric’s child) Margaret Ann “Meg” and stepchildren, Ashleigh Ritz, William Ritz, and Connor Ritz (Brooklynn); great grands, Mercedes Ritz and Waylon Ritz. Herman is also survived by a sister, Judith Ann Lawrence Conley (John); a brother, Joe Darrol Lawrence (Pam); several nieces and nephews.
Graveside funeral services will be held on Monday, November 13, 2023, at 11am at Oaknoll Memorial Gardens. Chaplain Keith Howell will officiate.
The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, on Sunday from 1 until 2:30pm.
Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, has charge of the arrangements.