William Robert Lawrenz, 87
William Robert Lawrenz passed from this earthly life on March 15, 2020 at the age of 87, due to natural causes. He was born on July 12, 1932 to William Albert Lawrenz and Margaret Reva Stark in Rochester, New York. William, or “Bill” as he was called, was an only child who grew up learning the value of hard work while he saw his father spend decades working for the Kodak Corporation in Rochester. Bill’s experience growing up during the great depression taught him to be extremely frugal and conservative, never wasting any thing that could be put to good use at a later date. Bill went into the Air Force shortly after graduating high school wanting more than anything to be a pilot. Sadly, his allergies kept him from that dream, but he proudly served as a Senior Aircraft Mechanic during the Korean War. After this Air Force service, Bill was known for his mechanical skills and innate ability to work on engines throughout his life. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force with the rank of Airman 2nd Class, Bill went to work for the Dupont Corporation in Rochester. He started a career that helped him build his entrepreneurial spirit which he carried with him through all of his days. Bill met the love of his life, Gloria Edith, in 1969 in South Salem, New York. The couple started a journey together which they referred to as their “New Horizons”. Both having been married before, they were collectively blessed with six wonderful children; Celeste, Roberta, Judith, George, Curt and Laura. Together they also had another child, whom they named Gloria. In 1972, Bill and Gloria moved the entire family from the East coast to Evergreen, Colorado. Here this enterprising couple successfully started and ran many of their own businesses, including an ice cream parlor, a decorating store, a bar and restaurant, a real estate company, an RV storage lot and a pontoon boat business. Bill deeply appreciated the outdoors and the expansiveness of the western landscape, purchasing their family a summer home on the shores of Flathead Lake in northwest Montana in 1973. This is where their family has made their forever home, with the entire family gathering on the lake every summer for over 40 years. Bill was an innovator and an endless creator, always thinking up new projects and intriguing ways to solve problems. He had a passion for travel, buying and selling real estate, NASCAR racing, refurbishing cars, boating, antique clocks, jazz music, dogs and time with his family. He was an intricate storyteller, always sharing memories of interesting times past and ideas on how to move into the future. Bill and Gloria lived out their days in their beautiful lakeside home just south of Polson, Montana, and also owned homes in other locations, such as Nashville, Colorado and the Virgin Islands. Bill and Gloria were blessed with 7 children, 18 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Bill has left us after a dynamic and rich life of leading a loving family and taking part in a multitude of creative pursuits. He was a hard working soul who never sat still a day in his life, teaching us about the value of hard work and the importance of working for yourself. His entrepreneurial spirit created a new generation of family members who now own their own businesses. Bill will be sorely missed and his legacy leaves behind a family who greatly appreciated his fortitude, perseverance and drive for successful independence. We love you!
A service was held Aug. 5 at 1 p.m. at Lakeview Cemetery, Polson, on the shores of Flathead Lake.