Lawrence W. Lamberson

Lawrence W. Lamberson, 89, of Onaway, died at home Saturday, September 2, 2017, with all his girls at his bedside. The son of Lyle and Evelyn “Molly” (Peterson) Lamberson, Lawrence was born in Evart July 14, 1928. He married his sweetheart and the love of his life, Marcella Burgess, at the United Presbyterian Church in Auburn Hills May 26, 1956. They made their home and raised their family in Auburn Hills until 1974 when they returned to Onaway.


Lawrence served our country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. It was in the Army that he learned to operate heavy equipment building runways and landing strips for aircraft. These skills would later help him in his employment with General Motors Corp. (GM). Raised in Onaway, Lawrence left home at the tender age of 16 to find work. He began his 30-year career with the Pontiac Motors Division of GM working in the cafeteria.  As the years passed, Lawrence held many positions at Pontiac Motors eventually retiring in 1976 from his work as a crane operator.  A man who liked to stay busy, Lawrence worked during his retirement at the Indian River Trout Club.  He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Onaway, serving as a deacon and generously giving his time to help with many church activities.

A kind-hearted soul who was thankful for his blessings, Lawrence found joy in life’s simple pleasures. He enjoyed raising chickens and rabbits, keeping bees and harvesting the honey that he loved, and working in his garden each summer.  He found peace in watching the deer and birds feed, in tapping maple trees on crisp spring mornings, and collecting sap with his grandsons during the warm afternoons. He enjoyed the outdoors and loved all of God’s creation.  He spent many hours working in his woodshop crafting birdhouses, toys, and practical items to make life easier. Very talented with a lot of ingenuity and plenty of patience, Lawrence could fix just about anything, sometimes creating a part from wood to make the repair. He loved music, especially the old classics like Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves. He could play the guitar and did a pretty fine job of crooning a tune as well.

Lawrence’s greatest love was for his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  A devoted husband and an amazing father, he set a wonderful example of being a true family man. His gentle spirit and humble way will be missed by all who knew and loved him.<


Surviving Lawrence is his wife of 61 years, Marcella Lamberson of Onaway; three daughters, Shirley (Rich) Nowicki of Cheboygan, Susan (Dwight) Reinhold of Gillett, Wisconsin and Paula Chapman (Ed Leach) of Onaway. Lawrence also leaves six grandchildren, Royce Peterman, Lydia Parsons, Tyler and Travis Chapman, and Branden and Mitchell Reinhold; as well as six great-grandchildren; a sister, Joan (Dave) Dolezel of Troy; and many nieces and nephews.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Arnold and Harold “Tiner;” and three sisters, Lila Crawford, Alice Luther and Ruth Perkins.

Visitation was Tuesday, September 5, at the First Baptist Church in Onaway until the time of the funeral service with the Rev. Joshua Ferraiuolo officiating. Lawrence’s final resting place is at Hillcrest Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Lawrence to Cheboygan Hospice House, c/o McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation, 360 Connable Ave., Suite 3, Petoskey, MI 49770.  Condolences may be shared with the Lamberson family at