Ward Vincent Lawrence


Former Pagosa Springs resident Ward Vincent Lawrence passed away peacefully at home in Sun City West, Ariz., on Feb. 6, just weeks before his 77th birthday. He and his wife, Jody, lived in Pagosa from 1999-2005 before moving to Arizona because of his health problems exacerbated by the altitude here. His adventurous spirit and enthusiasm for new experiences energized everyone around him.
During their six years in Pagosa, the Lawrences were active members of the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. Ward will be especially missed by his Monday and Thursday men’s golfing group and also his weekend couples’ golfing friends.
Ward was greatly admired for his warm hospitality, especially hosting post-golfing parties on the deck of their home overlooking the sixth hole on the Ponderosa course. He also was known for his sense of humor and story-telling, always happy to tell anecdotes about the many golf courses he had played and the two winters he and Jody lived on their sailboats in the Bahamas. For those of us who golfed and partied with him, it’s hard to imagine that those huge gusts of energy have been stilled.
While living in Pagosa, the Lawrences also were active members of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church. They were major donors to the construction of the new church and Ward provided pro bono real estate legal advice to the church’s decision-makers. Ward and Jody also were members of the Gray Wolf Ski Club.
Ward was born on Feb. 28, 1941, in Wichita, the eldest of three children of Robert and Frances Lawrence. He graduated from Wichita East High School, began his undergraduate studies at Colorado College, and earned business and law degrees from the University of Kansas. His professional career spanned a wide spectrum that ranged from owning and operating a Pizza Inn franchise in Denver to serving as general manager of the Wichita Wings in the professional indoor soccer team’s first year of existence. As well, he spent the majority of his working career applying his legal and entrepreneurial skills to commercial real estate development.
He was a lifelong sports enthusiast with a particular passion for the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas Jayhawks. Ward enjoyed an active retirement pursuing his love for golf both here in the mountains of Colorado and also in the deserts of Arizona. He loved road racing his Porsche 911 turbo and serving as captain of two different boats while sailing in the Bahamas.
Ward is survived by his wife, Jody; three children: daughter Tammy in Wichita, son Mike in Wichita, and stepson Dan and his wife, Misty, in Oklahoma City; sister Gretchen in St. George, Utah; six grandchildren: Melissa, Sara, Matthew, Greta, Ben and Aaron; and great granddaughter Elizabeth.
A loving husband, father, grandfather, companion and friend, Ward will be remembered for his commitment to faith, family, friends, food and fun. Private services for the family will take place at St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita later this year.
A memorial for camper scholarships in Ward’s name has been established with Sanborn Western Camps in Florissant, Colo., www.sanbornwesterncamps.com, because the camp had such a profound influence on his life. He attended the camp several times as a child, later working as a wrangler and becoming a generous benefactor.