Lawrence A. Wilson, Jr., age 94, of Greenville, passed away Monday morning, April 1, 2019.
Lawrence, known as Skeek to his family, was born March 19, 1925 to Lawrence A. Wilson and Jane Isabella Hanna Wilson in Mount Hope, West Virginia, the youngest of four children. His family moved to Charleston, West Virginia when he was 11 years old.
Lawrence graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1943 and was immediately drafted into the military during World War II. He served in Europe in the 14th armored division of the 7th Army, combining with General Patton’s 3rd Army during the push to Bastogne.
After the war, Lawrence returned home to Charleston where he met Evelyn Brown while she was singing in the church choir. They were married June 25, 1949.
He matriculated from Purdue University with a B.S. in 1949 and a PhD in 1952. Both degrees were in chemical engineering.
Lawrence worked from 1952-1954 in Charleston, West Virginia at American Viscose, before moving his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he began working as a research scientist for Gulf Oil Corporation. His research team provided new developments in enhanced oil recovery and resulted in several patents for the company. He was sent on several trips as a consultant to South American governments concerning development of oil production in those countries. During that time period, Lawrence taught some courses in petroleum engineering to doctoral candidates at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1981, he left Gulf’s Research and Development offices in Pittsburgh as division director of production. He transferred to the Houston, Texas complex and finished his career as coordinator of process applications and enhanced recovery.
Central to Lawrence’s life was his abiding faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He had taught Sunday School for many years in various churches and served as an elder in the Presbyterian church to which he belonged. When he and Evelyn retired to Greenville, he remained actively involved in church and community organizations. He offered leadership at First Baptist church during a transformative period and served as chairman of the board of deacons. He was a member of the original board of directors during the founding of the Good Shepherd Center. He served as a president of the Greenville Chapter and Lieutenant Governor for Pennsylvania in Kiwanis International and was presented the George F. Hixson Fellowship Award for that organization.
Lawrence is survived by his wife, Evelyn of 69 years; three daughters, Sharon Nystrom (Joel) of Greenville, Laura Loggi (Lou) of Hilton, New York and Lynne Wilson of Greenville; five grandchildren, Steven Nystrom, Sarah Nystrom, Christine Nystrom, Elaine Loggi (Nate Mochizuki) and Brian Loggi and one great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three siblings and an infant son, Lawrence A. Wilson III.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Good Shepherd Center, 10 N. Water Street, Greenville, PA 16125.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Loutzenhiser-Jordan Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 366-368 S. Main Street, Greenville, Pennsylvania.
Funeral service will be Thursday, April 4, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at Westminster Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, 323 Main Street, Greenville, Pennsylvania, Rev. David A. Dobi, Pastor, officiating
Greenville VFW Post #3374 will render military honors at the conclusion of the service.
Burial will be in Shenango Valley Cemetery.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, April 3 at the following approximate times: 6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.