Mr. William Rudy Lawrence (Bill) entered the gates of heaven on January 16, 2024. He was born on November 5, 1932 to R.C. Lawrence and Emma Lou (Stice) Lawrence in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. He graduated from Madisonville High School (KY) in 1950, and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State College (KY) in 1957. He went on to study and be certified by Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the testing of the SAGE Air Defense System, a project in which he was liaison between civilian contractors (namely AT&T) and the U.S. Air Force.
Bill was recruited to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and served two years in-country. Right before he left, however, he met Reida Maye, and corresponded with her until he came home. Shortly after his return, they were united in matrimony on August 25, 1956 in Cunningham, Kentucky. His legacy includes three children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Bill continued to work for AT&T as a systems engineer, and then industrial engineer from 1957 until he retired in 1985. His career, however, was just starting. He worked for the Missouri Highway Patrol for ten years before embarking on his own business, CDL Ready, Inc., which trains hopeful truck drivers how to pass the CDL Exam. He worked in this business until the ripe age of 89, and then passed it to his eldest child, Shannon, who continues at the helm to this day.
Bill was liked by everyone. His great smile, baby blue eyes, sharp intellect, and pleasing personality was a magnet to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He was also known by his faith in God, and considered his highest calling as sharing the gospel and bringing others to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. His whole life, Bill loved to teach, and was in charge of training at the SAGE Project and at AT&T. But his favorite subject to teach was the Bible, and he taught a weekly Bible Study class at Cornerstone Baptist Church for five years, and several lessons for the church he was a member of at the time of his passing, New Covenant Community Church.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife, Reida Lawrence, and is survived by children: Shannon Lawrence, Lori Reynolds (Kevin), and Joel Lawrence (Michelle); grandchildren: Malorie Mendoza (Hector), Olivia Reynolds, Brianna Reynolds, and Wyatt Lawrence; and great grandchildren: Matthew, Mason and Maverick Mendoza. Bill is also survived by sister, Ginna Walker (Pat) as well as many nephews, cousins and friends.
Celebration of Life services were held on Tuesday, January 23rd at Langsford Funeral Home located at 115 S.W. 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063.
Bill was laid to rest at the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery with military honors performed by the Lee’s Summit VFW 5789 and active Army service members. The family would like to express their thanks for the many prayers, meals, care, and companionship offered to them in Bill’s later life. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Lee’s Summit Meals on Wheels.