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EULOGY FOR DENISON LAWRENCE
My name is Lance Lawrence. I know most of you here today, but for those who don’t know who I am, I’m Denison’s brother. Today we have all gathered together to celebrate in loving memory my brother and the life he led. I’m sure everyone here has a story they could share about time spent with Denison… and boy, do I have a few stories that I could tell.
Denison Lawrence was born August 11th, 1973 to Charles and Cecelia Lawrence. Mom and Dad raised Denison, Laura, and myself in Paris, Texas, where as a family we cultivated many wonderful memories together. One of the best memories I have with my brother is us fishing together with Dad during the summers growing up. Dad took us out to fish at least a couple times every summer. Denison was the baby in the family, and when Dad passed away, Denison made it a point to check in on Mom as often as he could.
Perhaps stemming from our childhood was my brother’s love for the great outdoors, which he nurtured well into adulthood. He loved to be outside, whether it was to go fishing, hiking, or camping. My brother, as many of you here today know, was also an avid musician. Hand him a guitar and he would show you his knack for it. He enjoyed occasional jam sessions and open-mic nights around town, sharing his love for music with anyone who would listen.
You’ve all heard that Dire Straits song, “Money For Nothing,” right? I’d like to paint Denison’s life to the likeness of that song. He loved anything by Dire Straits but that song was one of his favorites. Some of the lyrics to that song go something like, “Now that ain't workin, that's the way you do it, Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb, Maybe get a blister on your little finger, Maybe get a blister on your thumb.” That was Denison for you. He was a content man who was very content with the life he led; he was satisfied with the work he did and was very proud of the fact that he did not get up in the morning for anyone but himself.
Denison called Dallas home for most of his adult life. He held a few different jobs, graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelors of Business Administration, and after college he worked in management for awhile. But most of you here who knew Denison knew that he had started his own real estate rental company. If you knew him well, you knew that he was very proud of this company and worked on it til the day he left us. My brother had a true entrepreneurial spirit and was involved in a small investors’ group that worked to assist other business men and women in starting up their own companies.
Denison had a few different nicknames, some of which you may recognize: Dennies, Dougy, Diggy. A couple others may come to mind…maybe some of you here today had a special nickname for Denison that no one else knew about…! My brother enjoyed a bit of humor from time to time, and growing up he was encouraged to see the funny side of life. A prime example is a story from when he was in the first grade. His teacher had asked the class to name off some animals that started with a letter she would give. So she said “H” and she heard back, “Horse!” She said “T” and she got back “Two horses!” She called out “M” and Denison decides to be the class clown and yells back, “Maybe a horse!?” He got into just a little bit of trouble that night at home.
My brother was a quiet man who led a relatively quiet life, and that was how he wanted things. He was not a very religious man, but he believed in God and made it a point in his life to help his fellow man whenever he could. He was easy-going and loved to go out and meet new people, but he also loved just being at home, alone, recharging after a long day. Denison was fun-loving but a gentle person at the same time. He wouldn’t hurt a fly and would go out of his way to avoid hurting anyone in any way.
He had a close relationship with our cousin, Sam Smith. Smithy and Denison spent some bachelor years together just hanging out, playing music, going hiking and camping together. We want to thank you for that, Smithy…Denison had so many wonderful times with you and the kids, and I think that brought him a lot of joy these past several years.
I want to thank not only my cousin Sam, but also each and every one of you that showed up today to honor Denison’s life and memory. Everyone here had a special kinship, bond or memory with my brother in some way, and I want you to know that he did with each of you as well. I hope that knowing that can bring you a little bit of comfort as we lay him to rest. On behalf of my mother and sister Laura, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the condolences, kind messages and company you have provided us these past several days. It will always be remembered. I would also like to thank the local church here, Sam’s church, for helping my family in the many ways that they have. Denison was not a member of the church, in fact they didn’t even know him. They did not have any real reason to step up like they did, except out of true compassion. That compassion has touched my family and we are especially grateful for it.
In closing, I’d just like to say…and I think we can all agree with this… that the world was better off for my brother Denison Lawrence being in it, and not worse.