REMEMBERING Lawrence LEE Anthony (1931-2021)

Lawrence Purple Heart


LAWRENCE LEE ANTHONY, was born 21 March 1931 in Beaver, Oklahoma, the second eldest of ten children born to the late Harold and Dora Herren Anthony. Lawrence died at 4 p.m. on Friday, 12 February 2021 at the Roo Lan Healthcare Center in Lacey, Washington, a little over five weeks short of his 90th birthday.

Lawrence was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War, during which he was wounded.  It was my privilege to hear some of his experiences during that terrible time, one of which I think appropriate to relate here since it involved circumstances that Lawrence attributed to divine intervention: One afternoon while sitting on the running board of a truck and eating his K-rations, he heard a voice call out “Anthony, come over here!” Used to taking orders, he automatically rose and walked in the direction he had heard the voice. A minute or so later, a shell hit the truck where he had been sitting and completely destroyed it. Lawrence was unable to discover who or what had called his name that day, but whoever or whatever the source, he was convinced that the voice had saved his life!

Now despite Lawrence’s pride in his war service, I had difficulty trying to convince him to wear a Korean War Veteran hat. He would argue that wearing a veteran hat was “just showing off!” Nevertheless, about 20 years ago we happened to be near Fort Lewis, which is outside of Tacoma, Washington, when I noticed a military surplus store. I asked him to stop and while there I bought him a Korean War Veteran hat along with a small Purple Heart pin. It took some doing, but I finally convinced him to put on the hat and give it a try. From there we headed back to Olympia to have lunch at a J.J. North’s buffet. During our meal, a middle-aged couple stopped by the table and profusely thanked Lawrence for his military service to our country. That’s all it took! From that time on Lawrence was never without that hat on his head—in fact, he only took it off when he went to bed at night! (Over the coming years, countless people noticed his hat and stopped to thank him for his service. He was exceptionally pleased when young active duty soldiers would stop to thank him!)

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Lawrence worked in the transportation department of Ambassador College in both its Pasadena, California, and Big Sandy, Texas, campuses. This included his flying the college’s small plane in Big Sandy, and driving over-the-road trucks and charter buses . It was through Ambassador College that I came to know Lawrence and it was my privilege to call him a close personal friend for the next 45 years. (Actually, he was more than that: Lawrence was family to me!)

Lawrence Lee Anthony was one of the most generous, giving human beings I’ve ever known and was a man of charm and wit whose greatest enjoyment in life was making people smile! I shall miss him a lot!   


Lawrence MEM 2

Lawrence ARMY

Lawrence ARMY 2

Above, top left, Lawrence ca. 2012. Next are two photos of Lawrence during the Korean War. Bottom photo, Lawrence (on the left) with his brother, Calvin Anthony, who also served in Korea. (Photos courtesy of Lawrence’s sister, Lois Anthony of Olympia, Washington.)

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