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In Loving Memory Of

Garth Harvey Lawrance

 

With broken hearts and deep sadness, the family of Garth Harvey Lawrance wish to let his friends and family know that Garth passed away on Monday, June 11, 2018, at the age of 67 years.

Born to Cecil and Mildred Lawrance on May 28, 1951, Garth spent his entire life in the Five Mile area just east of Grande Prairie. He was the youngest of six siblings and was raised on the family farm. He and his brothers and sisters were 4H Achievers and they exhibited at the local County Fair. In those days the Fairgrounds were beside the water towers in north-east Grande Prairie. There they showed their pigs, sheep and vegetables, but mostly their prized herd of Registered Jersey cows. As the kids grew older they all attended community picnics at the Five Mile School, visited neighbors and learned to play cards. Mildred also ensured that each one, when the time came, learned to country dance. This became a favorite pastime for Garth and as a teenager he began going off to dances further and further from home. Crystal Creek, then Bezanson and finally to DeBolt, where he met Julie, the love of his life and wife of 42 years. They were married in 1975 and Garth then began work with Pat Garrett at Cutbank Trucking. He always said, in later years, that that was the best job he ever had.

In 1977, Mildred and Cecil retired and Garth and Julie took over the family farm. A small herd of dairy cows and shipping cream to the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool quickly turned into a very large herd of 95 Jerseys and Holsteins and shipping fluid milk. Also, at this time, some of the prized Jerseys were sold off and shipped to buyers in Japan. The days were long and very busy, but there was always time after milking for a game of cards and sandwiches with any and all who stopped by.

In 1980 Evan, their first child, was welcomed into the family. Evan has since met his birth family and Garth and Julie were excited and happy to meet them as well. Rachel was born in 1983, between milkings, as Garth would say. Both kids spent many hours on a knee with Grandma or Grandpa Lawrance watching the Tommy Hunter Show during barn hours. Both children grew up as well with 4H, High School Rodeo, the County Fair and the Five Mile Community Hall. In 1996, the cows and quota were sold, and Garth kept feeder steers for a few years. Garth and Julie took their very first holiday together that year to a wedding in Louisiana.

In 1981, Len Reichert became a family member by living and working on the farm with Garth and Julie. At his suggestion, in 1997, First Choice Pipehandlers Ltd. became a laydown company between them. It was very successful, employing lots of local talent, including Evan. Garth was very proud of this company and the many years of success in the oil patch.

Eventually the laydown machines became obsolete and the company was closed. Garth and Julie went on to developing acreages and building beautiful homes in their Jersey Meadows development. Both Evan, Rachel and Len and their families have homes there, much to the delight of Garth and Julie. Garth rebuilt a laydown truck into a gravel truck and went back to hauling, always with George Strait, George Jones, Roger Whittaker, Alan Jackson, or the like, accompanying him.

After times settled down, he and the family often went to places like the Bahamas, Disney World, Texas, Cuba, Mexico and Hawaii. He really took a step out of his comfort zone when he agreed to go with Julie and Theresa and Eric Robideau for a longer trip to Europe, which included a river cruise from Budapest to Germany, for both couple’s 40th Anniversary. His last trip was a few months ago to Toronto to visit relatives.

Throughout his life. Garth volunteered with many groups and boards. He began when he was just out of high school as a raffle manager for the Bowling Committee in Grande Prairie. His first love was the Five Mile Community Hall and all it entailed. This volunteerism extended to the River Rats and finally to the Grande Prairie Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation. He met many new people with his volunteer work and they all became a huge part of his life the last ten years. They enjoyed playing cards, lunches, fundraising and going to the wagon races together. He loved it.

Garth was a caring, thoughtful, social person with a very large circle of friends that he always made welcome. The door was open, the crib board and poker chips were on the table, and the Crown and coke shared freely among his friends until daybreak at times. He was a huge tease but also quickly apologetic. He believed in working hard but he was generous with everything he had. He helped more than a few people out in his life and always gave out second and third chances. Despite his gruff exterior, Garth always endeavored to do his best for everyone and to take care of everyone. His attitude and strength carried many through some rough times. But, at the end of the day, he left on his own terms to finally have a good sleep even though he always said that sleep was over-rated.

Besides all his friends, Garth sadly left his wife Julia, along with his son Evan (Karlin) and daughter Rachel (Clancy) Kenney. He also leaves five grandchildren: Madisyn, and Kieryn Lawrance and Carson, Owen and Emily Kenney, who miss him so much. Also deeply mourning Garth are Leonard and Rhonda, Matthew and Danielle Reichert; sisters Clara Lawrance of Ladysmith B.C. and Darlene (Larry) Best of Grande Prairie will miss him; sisters in-law Dawn (Earl) Chapman at Crooked Creek, Lois (Leland) Iles in Vancouver, Muriel (Phil) Dupuis in Grande Prairie, Gloria Lawrance of Grande Prairie and Shirley Lawrance on Vancouver Island will miss his teasing and jokes; brothers in-law Michael (Marcelle) Peterson in Grande Prairie and Nicholas (Judy) Peterson at DeBolt will miss him. The extended family will remember him as a happy uncle, great uncle and play wrestler. And a toe stepper.

Garth was predeceased by his parents Cecil and Mildred Lawrance; brothers Richard, Alexander and Lyle; parents in-law Earl and Sheila Peterson; and brothers in-law Gary Cooper and Edward Kapalka.

We are so sorry to say that, as social as Garth was his entire life, his final wishes were for cremation and a private immediate family burial in the near future. Please, we would like everyone who knew and loved Garth to find a private way to say goodbye to him.

In Loving Memory of

Garth Harvey Lawrance
 

 
 

 
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