Former McMinnville resident Elizabeth Cantrell Lawrence LaFever, 96, died Monday, May 29 at Woodbury Health and Rehab, where she has resided for the past five years.
Born Kathryn Elizabeth Cantrell on Aug. 16, 1920 in DeKalb County, she was the daughter of Zollie Adron and Shirley Love Cantrell, who preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death are sisters Josie Love and Rubye Cantrell; and four brothers, Howard Cantrell, Norman Cantrell, Reed Cantrell and Royce Cantrell. She was married to James Robert Lawrence, who died in 1963. Her late husband, William James (Bill) LaFever, preceded her in death in 1997.
Elizabeth is survived by her three children; Monica Henry of Murfreesboro; Kathryn Lawrence of Atlanta; and Jim (Debra) Lawrence of Lawrenceville. She is survived by seven grandchildren Heath Gribble of McMinnville; Jason Gribble of Murfreesboro; Beth Fitch of Murfreesboro; Nicholas Green of Salt Lake City, Utah; Katelyn Green of Atlanta; Chase Lawrence of Athens and Adrian Lawrence of Atlanta, six great-grandchildren Dominique Gribble of Panama City, Panama; Kylie Lawrence of Atlanta; Breckyn, McKinley, and Harrison Lawrence of Athens and Katherine Lawrence of Atlanta. Also surviving are three sisters Gladys Buck of Madison; Joyce Crosslin of Dallas, Texas; and Linda Hillis of McMinnville, one brother Gordon Cantrell of McMinnville, 26 nieces and nephews, one stepdaughter, Ricki (Wayne) Helton of Hickory, N.C.
In 1941, after graduating from DeKalb County High School, Elizabeth moved to Nashville and attained a degree in cosmetology. During World War II, she was employed at Vultee Aircraft in Nashville and was transferred in 1945 to Bell Aircraft in Atlanta, Ga. During a visit home to DeKalb County, she met Navy serviceman James Lawrence. They were married in 1945 and lived in New London, Conn., until 1947, when they returned to make their home in DeKalb County. Elizabeth, James and their three children settled in McMinnville in 1956, where they resided until his death in 1963.
Smithville became her home after her marriage to William (Bill) LaFever in 1967. Shortly after the death of her husband, she moved to Lawrenceville, Ga., to be near her children. Elizabeth was a lady of many talents and accomplishments. Whatever she set her mind to do, she did it with grace, dignity and perfection. Aside from her many years as a hairdresser, she became an accomplished artist. Her many paintings exhibit the magnitude of her talent. She was an avid reader and wrote several inspiring poems and letters. She also enjoyed sewing, needlework and flower gardening. She was a member of the Church of Christ and attended both Central Church of Christ in McMinnville and Smithville Church of Christ.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 3 at High’s Chapel. Interment will follow at Mt. View Cemetery. Visitation will be 11 a.m. Saturday until the time of service at High’s.
High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.