In Memory

Denis Granville Lawrence - Class Of 1961

Denis Granville Lawrence

Denis Granville Lawrence, 72, died peacefully at home on September 4, 2015, with his wife, Vicki, and his sons, Dana and Eric, at his side. He was born on August 22, 1943 in Alhambra and was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothea and Horace Lawrence, as well as his brother, Roger G Lawrence (SPHS '58).

Denis grew up in South Pasadena, graduating from South Pasadena High School in 1961. He obtained undergraduate degrees from Pasadena City College and Whittier College. He did graduate degree work at the School of Theology at Claremont, obtaining a Master of Theology, as well as at Lewis and Clark College where he earned a Master of Education (Counseling) degree. While in college he worked in the financial industry for banks and savings and loans.

He moved to Oregon in 1970 with his former spouse, Virginia, and their two boys and served as minister in the Estacada and Lake Oswego United Methodist Churches from 1970-1980. He began teaching as an associate faculty member in the Religious Studies and Social Science departments at Marylhurst University in 1982. From 1989-1991 he served as the Director of Continuing Religious Studies and Human Studies programs, Interim Chair of the Social Science department at Marylhurst, and went on to serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Chaplain, and Director of the Prior Learning Assessment program. After his retirement in 2005 he continued his association with Marylhurst as an evaluator for the Prior Learning Assessment program. He used to joke that he had held every position at Marylhurst except President.

Denis had been an avid amateur (ham) radio operator since 1957. His call sign was W7HWR. He was most active in the Pacific Amateur Radio Guild (PARG). He participated in PARG's daily nets, was PARG treasurer, and wrote and published the group's newsletter, "Random Radiation".

He was an enthusiastic runner earlier in his life. His favorite sport was baseball, and he followed the Seattle Mariners closely. He also enjoyed watching college sports of all kinds. The Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers were favorite professional teams. He was a bowler and played golf.

Denis was a voracious reader and like English mysteries, in particular. He was not a traveler, preferring his own bed, but he did enjoy stays at the coast. Seaside was his favorite destination and walking on the beach or the prom were his favorite activities. He was an eclectic music lover and enjoyed listening to Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, Ian and Sylvia, John Denver, and Johnny Cash, to name a few. He liked animals, especially dogs, and enjoyed keeping the bird and squirrel feeders full in his backyard.

Denis is survived by his wife of 24 years, Vicki; son Dana and daughter-in-law Rebecca, son Eric; niece Gina; grandchildren Kinsey, Keysa, and James; great-grandchildren Raven and Ariya; and his former wife, Virginia Murray Gaines (SPHS '61).