Ted Lawrence, 86, of Thompsonville; died Thursday, December 27, 2012 at his home.

He was born on November 26, 1926 in West Frankfort, IL to David and Genevieve (Horrell) Lawrence.

He married the former Shirley V. Johnson on June 6, 1948.  They were married for 59 years until Shirley’s death on June 7, 2007.

Ted is survived by his daughter Sherri Lawrence of Thompsonville; his son John Lawrence and wife Kathryn of Thompsonville, his grandchildren Danielle and husband Charles Gallo, Genevieve Lawrence and husband Tucker Freismuth, Lucas Lawrence, Derek Bronner, Spencer and Domenica Lawrence; his great-grandchildren Julian, Ione, Mirabella and Genevieve; and a brother Robert Lawrence and wife Betty of Moline, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, two sons, Don Scott Lawrence in 1983, Larry Robert Lawrence on Dec. 4, 2012; sisters Ada Jane and husband Don Sanders, Daisy and husband John Kynion.

Mr. Lawrence served his country in the Naval Aviation Division in World War II.

He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1950 with his BA Degree, where he was a four year letter winner in football and a two year letter winner in both basketball and baseball.  He held MA Degrees in science and education administration from Southern Illinois University.


Lawrence coached high school football for 16 years, including stints at Wilton Junction, Anamosa, and Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School in Iowa, and four years at Geneseo, Illinois.  At Jefferson, Lawrence led his team to the state champion level in 1964 and 1965 as an undefeated team, as well as securing three Mississippi Valley Championships.  His overall coaching record was (101-33-6).

In 1964 Lawrence served as the first president of the Iowa Football Coaches Association, after playing a prominent role in founding the organization and was also inducted into the Iowa Wesleyan College Athletic Hall of Fame.

After being named High School Football Coach of the Year in 1965, Lawrence accepted a position as an assistant football coach at the University of Iowa.  In 1969, Lawrence left coaching to work for Westinghouse Learning Corporation and in 1982 formed Productive Products Graphics and Sign Company with his wife.

A memorial gathering celebrating the lives of Ted Lawrence and Larry Lawrence will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the Leffler – Poulson Funeral Home located at 401 East Main Street in Benton, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers or contributions, donate to your favorite charity.

To sign the online memorial guest register book, visit

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News