Nov. 8, 1956 – May 31, 2019
Richard Lawrence was born in Denver, Colorado and passed away on May 31 at Arcadia Methodist Hospital after a determined and valiant battle for over 2½ years with inoperable pancreatic cancer. His family was by his side.
Richard grew up in La Jolla, California, one block away from the Pacific Ocean, which he referred to as his backyard. He spent a lot of his time surfing near the hut at WindandSea. He attended La Jolla High School and went to junior college in San Diego before transferring to the University of Oregon.
After college he went to work for Burlington Northern Railroad repairing the railroad tracks in South Dakota before returning to La Jolla. He lived for several years in Pacific Beach and enjoyed traveling all over the world, especially Africa.
He met his wife Karen while she was on vacation at Campland in Mission Bay. After going on a cruise to Alaska and commuter dating, Richard chose to move to the Crescenta Valley. Richard and Karen were married on May 20, 1989 at St. George’s Episcopal Church in La Cañada.
Richard made friends everywhere he went. He enjoyed spending time with his children and stepdaughter. As his children were growing up, he volunteered as a Boy Scout leader, was involved with the YMCA Indian Guides and Princesses. Then he volunteered as a coach for baseball and softball and as a soccer coach/referee for AYSO Region 88. He was a volunteer referee when his daughter’s tournament team made it to the AYSO national games in Chicago and again in Hawaii. He found joy in all of his children’s activities.
He worked for over 22 years as a claims adjuster for 21st Century Insurance. He started a new career with Metro after 21st Century Insurance was sold. At the age of 55, he learned how to drive a bus and was also a Metrorail train operator.
He was always athletic and, when he wasn’t coaching or acting as a referee, he enjoyed playing co-ed slow pitch softball with his wife Karen and was on a men’s slow pitch softball team.
He was pre-deceased by his sister Susan Lawrence, mother Leatrice J. Lawrence, father Richard N. Lawrence and brother Robert Lawrence. He is survived by his wife Karen L. Lawrence, daughter Chelsea L. Lawrence, son Vaughn R. Lawrence, stepdaughter Crystal Thompson, brother Jay Lawrence, niece Cali Lawrence and grandnephew Diego Lawrence.
The Lawrence family will be having a celebration of his life on Saturday, June 29 at the Glendale Sports Complex at 1 p.m. Guests are asked to wear Hawaiian shirts and bring pictures or written memories for the family to read. Bring comfortable clothes as there will be a soccer scrimmage after the celebration and refreshments.