James Arthur “Lil’lin” Lawrence, was given by God to the late Johnnie and Ethel (Bean) Lawrence on November 17, 1948 in Troy, Alabama. At an early age, James realized his life was not his own but the Lord’s. Since then, he lived his life for the Lord.
In 1967, James graduated from Academy Street High School then joined the United States Army where he proudly served in the Vietnam War before an honorable discharge. After living in Brooklyn, New York for a time, James moved to Dayton, Ohio. While in Dayton, James united with Vivian in holy matrimony and God blessed their forty-five-year union with five children. In Dayton, he pursued his goal of becoming a mechanic. He enrolled in Sinclair Community College. After working for companies such as General Motors and Frigidaire, James retired from Sears and Roebuck but like many retirees still full of life, his life came full circle when he returned to the Veterans Administration. Lil’lin, as he was affectionately called by some, could be found fishing, barbecuing, listening to music or enjoying outdoors.
The gates of heaven swung open on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, the trumpets sound and the angels began singing as James stepped across the threshold, we call death. He is preceded in death by his parents; his sister Linda; maternal grandparents, Susie and Jim Bean; and paternal grandparents, Dora and Tom McClaney in death.
Celebrating his life, James is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Vivian; his children, Alfreda (Oliver) Littlefield of Grayson, GA; Antjuan Lawrence of Dayton, OH; Nicole McGrady, Tyese, and Francesca Lawrence, all of Detroit, MI; his grandchildren, Courtland and Brie Littlefield of Grayson, GA; Antoinette Lawrence of Columbus, OH. Kamaria and Antjuanya Lawrence of Dayton, OH; and one great grandchild, Ah’Riya Blackshear of Columbus, OH. Also, celebrating a lifetime of memories with James are his siblings, Bessie Rhodes, Jim (Roberta) Lawrence; Catherine Jenkins; Johnnie Mae Curry; and Annie J. Lawrence all of Dayton, OH; Anna McGrady, Dorothy Lawrence, and John Will Lawrence, all of Troy, AL. Though James is at peace with God now and is rejoicing, more precious memories are left to a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, and colleagues.
Funeral service will be held 11 am Thursday, October 7, at Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church, 3620 Shiloh Springs Rd. Visitation 10-11 am. (Mask Required). Interment Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, AL. Arrangements entrusted to House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.
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