Cover photo for Buell Joyce B.J. Laurence's Obituary
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1930 Buell 2024

Buell Joyce B.J. Laurence

October 27, 1930 — May 28, 2024

Two months and two days after his beloved Mertie Ann started her journey to Heaven, Buell Joyce “B.J.” Laurence began his own journey on 28 May 2024 to join his Lord and his Little Bonnie at age 93. This followed two strokes on the 19th from which he never regained consciousness.

B.J. was recently predeceased by his wife of almost 72 years, Mertie Ann Haupfear Laurence. Much earlier he was predeceased by his parents, Henry Auburn and Anna Bell Turner Laurence; by his four sisters—Faye Laurence Lamon (Billy D.), Odell Laurence Johnson (Harless), Christeva Laurence Johnson (“Pete”) and June Laurence Palmer (“Jim”)—and by his one brother, George Laurence (Norma Jean). He is survived by his sons Stephen Auburn Laurence and Lewis Joyce Laurence (Lisa Clayton Laurence); by ex-daughter-in-law Dora Ann Tower; by granddaughters Erika Gabrielle Laurence Parker (Gunnar), Ninette Desireé Tower Fields (Greg), Maurissa Nicole Tower McCulloch (Matt), and Jada Brianna Tower; by grandsons Matthew Lewis Laurence (Elizabeth) and Mitchell Lewis Laurence; by nine great-grandchildren; and by a wide but blessedly close-knit community of nieces, nephews and cousins through the Laurence/Turner and Haupfear/Cromer family branches.

A man born in Lawrence County, Tennessee, and raised there. In Decatur, Alabama, who lived his values through practice rather than preaching, Buell was honest to a fault, considerate of everyone, and anxious to help anyone he found in need. Grandpa / Uncle Blue Jay / Dear ol’ Dad—as he was affectionately called by the many children who loved him-- was a family man who gave all he could and beyond to ensure the wellbeing, physical and spiritual, of all his kin. He was a craftsman who demonstrated remarkable talent when called upon in the workshop, the front shop, or under the hood.
He was a loyal man of service who, along with his stint in the United States Army, was guided by his faith and values rather than ideology in his choices for community and country. He was the sort of individual regularly coveted but rarely found anymore.

In accordance with explicit wishes made jointly in life, Buell, as was his wife Ann, will be cremated by the Cremation Society of South Carolina  without a funeral, memorial service, or formal ceremony. But their lives will be celebrated throughout the lives of all who knew and were touched by them. Amen.
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