Mary Helen Lawrence,  1936-2023


Mary Helen Lawrence, 86 years old, died April 29, 2023 of cancer and the resulting conditions of a stroke. She was happily married to Owen Campbell Lawrence, Jr. for over 50 years and both lived in Quitman. 

Mary Helen was born in 1936 to John Lofton and Bernice Reed. She graduated from Quitman High School in 1955 as class valedictorian. She moved on to East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce) and graduated from there in a mere three years. She married Owen and became an English teacher, but with the birth of her second child, the young couple moved from McCamey back to East Texas to be near her family. Also at that time, she moved on from teaching to administrating her mother’s nursing home in Winnsboro. Eventually, she purchased the home from her mother and maintained her career until 1987 when she sold the business and retired. Mary Helen and Owen lived blissfully as retirees, traveling the world and pursing their own adventures together. 

Mary Helen was a lifetime giver to the community, having served on the hospital board that brought Wood County Central Hospital. She also worked for many years on the first board that brought Quitman its own library, which moved into the First National Bank building. She was also a member and officer of the Pilot Club and the Quitman Scenic Association. 

Preceding her in death were her husband, Owen; her parents, John Lofton and Bernice Reed; her siblings, Marie Hartsfield, Elyse Mabe and Marion Reed. Her children are Matt and Lisa Lawrence, Kimberly Lawrence and Kelly Lawrence. Her grandchildren are Elizabeth Melvin and Michelle Lawrence. Her great-grandchildren are Corrine, Blaise and Addie Mae Melvin. 

Mary Helen Lawrence’s funeral was held at the Lowe-Gardner Funeral Home in Quitman on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Burial followed at Rock Hill Cemetery in Yantis. Instead of sending floral decor, please make donations to the American Cancer Society or to the library in Quitman in her name.