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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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October 17, 2018

7/17/2018 7:30:00 AM
Thomas (Tom) Edward Lawrence

Thomas (Tom) Edward Lawrence, age 85, of Waunakee, formerly from Rhinelander, died peacefully on Friday, July 13, 2018, surrounded by his family.

Tom was born in Newberry, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula on December 23, 1932 to Harold and Mary Elizabeth (Dennis) Lawrence later moving to Rhinelander. Tom was very active in local sports playing football and basketball. He was a member of the 1950 basketball team that went to the State Basketball Championship, and was also a member of the Merrill Foxes, a semi-pro football team. In January of 1953, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in Korea. Following an honorable discharge in 1955, he returned to Rhinelander and on June 11, 1955, he married his high school sweetheart and best friend, Jean Carole Dobbe.

Tom managed the Milwaukee office of Clayton Brown & Associates, Inc. for over 20 years specializing in underwriting and trading tax-exempt securities. He also served on the Company's Board of Directors and was a member of the Senior Management Committee. Previous to this he was the Vice President and Manager of the Governmental Finance Department of First Wisconsin National Bank of Milwaukee. In his early years, Tom began working at the Rhinelander Paper Company (St. Regis Paper Company) in their Steam Power Division, eventually being named Foreman.

Politically active, Tom served as Alderman in Rhinelander, Oneida County Board Chairman and Supervisor, and was Chairman of the Board for Nicolet Area Technical College. Appointed by Governor Dreyfus, Tom served on the Joint Survey Committee on Debt Management, was a member of the Department of Revenue ad hoc committee that recommended changes to Wisconsin Statutes, and was Sergeant-At-Arms at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. He was also an active supporter of many local, state and national political campaigns, including Warren Knowles (Governor), Alvin O'Konski (US House of Representatives), and Richard Nixon (President).

In addition to his many accomplishments, he was most proud of his work helping to create the Nicolet Area Technical College and was honored to receive the college's first honorary degree ever bestowed by that institution.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Jean, of 63 years, three sons: Thomas (Natalie) Lawrence II of Minocqua, James (Ann) Lawrence of Rhinelander, William (Marie) Lawrence of Owatonna, Minn.; two daughters Jodi (Mike) Siehoff of Waunakee, and Marcie (Chris) Greenberg of Greendale; brother Larry (Phyllis) Lawrence of Stevens Point; numerous grandchildren (Carl, Josh, Jackie, Noel, Jennifer, Erin, Ben, Mark, AJ, Nathan, Lauren, Rebecca, Jack and Emily) and five great-grandchildren.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Mary Lawrence, siblings: Marilee Brown, Charles Lawrence, Robert Lawrence, Helen Pulver, Barbara Ciaccio and grandson Andrew Lawrence.

A special thank you to all the staff of Homestead Living of Waunakee and those from Agrace Hospice for all the care and comfort provided to Tom and his family while he was a resident.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church of Waunakee, followed by full military honors.

Friends can visit with the family starting at 10 am up until the start of the service. Interment will take place at a later date at Nativity of Our Lord Parish Catholic Cemetery, Rhinelander.

Should friends desire, memorials may be made in memory of Tom to the Nicolet College Foundation, or to the donor's choice.

Please share your memories at

Winn-Cress Funeral Home

5785 Hwy Q

Waunakee, WI

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Article comment by: Don Trotier

Jean the world lost one of the really good individuals. Our sympathy is with you and family. Wish we could be there for the service but we are moving into Friendship Village this week. Time catches up on all of us.V

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