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Lawrence passed away at the Regina General Hospital on December 29, 2019, with his family by his side. He was 83 years of age.
Lawrence was born on September 1, 1936, to Henry and Meta Schmidt in their home one mile north of Colmer (7 miles west of Melville). He was the eldest child of four children. Lawrence was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Melville.
Lawrence attended Alkerton School two and a half miles away from their home. In 1946 his father purchased three quarters of land and built a home two miles north of Melville. He continued his schooling to Grade 8, along with his siblings, at North Melville School. Lawrence later continued studies by correspondence through to Grade 10 so he could continue to help on the farm.
Lawrence started work as an elevator agent in 1957 for Saskatchewan Wheat Pool at Colmer, Birmingham, Hazel Cliff, Kettleston, Dilk and Frankslake. He took pride in keeping his elevators clean and orderly. Lawrence had friendships with people he met in these branches. He left this job in 1965 to return to the farm on a full-time basis. Lawrence began farming in 1956 with the help of his father by renting a quarter in the Colmer area. In 1960 Lawrence purchased a half section from a neighbour to start farming on his own while continuing to work at the Wheat Pool.
Lawrence met Donna Pearson, the daughter of Minnie and Sven Pearson, in 1964. After a courtship, they were married in the Prince of Peace church on July 8, 1966, followed by a honeymoon in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The couple started out living in a house that Lawrence had built on Scotia Street in Melville. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Karen Lynn, born in 1967. The family moved to a farm two miles north of town on a half section of land previously owned by Arthur Schindel. This became the main yard. As time progressed, Murray Lawrence was born in 1968 and Darcy Robert in 1972. In 1977 the family moved into a home Lawrence built at Main Street in Melville where they currently reside. Lawrence shifted the farm away from mixed farming and continued to expand and operate as a grain farm with his family, until he harvested what would be his last crop in the fall of 2018.
Lawrence had been active in various organizations. He played with the Merchants fastball team. He was a member of the 4-H Beef and Grain Club in the early 1950s and ‘60s. He acted as a club leader in the 4-H Grain Club in the later years. Lawrence was an active member of the Saskatchewan Farmers’ Curling Club and also a member of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Committee. From 1970 to 1980, he served as a director on the board of the Melville and District Credit Union with the later 3-year term as president. Lawrence supported the construction and operation of the Prince William Motor Inn. He was a faithful member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and served on church council in his later years.
Lawrence enjoyed time away with Donna and his family, especially trips to the West Coast. In later years, Lawrence and Donna enjoyed travel to Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and into the southern states. He enjoyed day trips to the lake and drives in the country checking crops and being an enthusiastic tour guide of his farming operation and local history to visiting relatives. Lawrence and Donna were blessed with six grandchildren and enjoyed time spent with their children’s families.
Lawrence was predeceased by his parents; his son, Darcy Schmidt; his grandson, Andrew Schmidt; his brother, Harold Schmidt and wife Joyce; his spouse’s siblings, Stan Pearson, Laurence Pearson, Wib Widdis and Evelyn and Herman Gerger; and nephew Gerald Gerger. He leaves to cherish his memory: his beloved wife, Donna (nee Pearson); his daughter, Karen (Bryan) Sies, their sons, Colby and Dylan; his son, Murray (Karen) Schmidt, their daughter, Hannah; his daughter in-law, Debra Schmidt, her children, Bronson and Matilda; his sisters, Evelyn Schmidt and Audrey (Glen) Rockwell; his sisters-in-law Doreen Widdis and Marilyn Pearson; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.