Lawrence Eliot |
Marcus ("Lawrie"), 96, of Dallas, died on Friday, November 1, 2013, at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas. He was born in Dallas on July 5, 1917, the youngest son, to parents, Minnie L. Marcus and Herbert Marcus, Sr., Co-Founder of the Neiman Marcus Store.
Lawrence's career with Neiman Marcus began at the age of 6 as a pin collector in the alterations department. He progressed to a Floorwalker by his high school years and, ultimately retired in 1986 as General Manager of their downtown Dallas store and Executive Vice President of the Neiman Marcus Corporation.
Before graduating Woodrow Wilson High School, he attended The Terrill School for boys and went on to earn a BA, at Harvard University in 1938, where he studied Military Science, trained as a marksman at Fort Ethan Allen, was a photographer for the Harvard Crimson publication and, in 1936, as chairman of the club, facilitated the reorganization of the Harvard Photographic Club. Lawrence continued at Harvard to earn his MBA in 1940, preparing him to rejoin the Marcus family in their daily operations of Neiman Marcus.
Lawrence's military training began in 1932, as a high school Jr. ROTC member and continued through the Harvard ROTC program, as and Lieutenant. In 1942 he joined active duty to proudly serve our country in World War II.
Before being deployed to aggressive combat in Africa, Lawrence supervised the PX store in England. Using his extensive retail experience, he generated more income for their Battalion PX than had ever been earned before.
In Africa, attached to French ally forces, he headed up his U.S. Tank Destroyer Battalion. He courageously encountered hostile battles and, twice, bravely escaped capture. Lawrence's final act of war resulted in the downing of a German plane, during which he sustained life-threatening wounds.
Due to his heroic efforts, he was twice decorated with the French award, Croix de Guerre, awarded to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy. Lawrence was discharged from active duty as a Captain, with a Purple Heart. A United States flag was flown at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 26, 2012 in honor of the 70th encounter which earned him his first Croix de Guerre decoration.
Lawrence returned to Neiman Marcus, contributing to the business with his creativity, charm, service and impeccable taste for fabric, style and quality of product. Among his many initiatives, Lawrence directed special events to the delight of the Neiman Marcus clientele. He supervised the building and opening of the Galleria, Houston store, designed by architect, Gyo Obata, where he also met his future wife, Shelby. Together they shared a love for music, literature, ballet, coffee, travel, art and polo.
In 1977 he returned to Dallas as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Neiman's flagship store. After retirement, Lawrence established Café de Marque, a coffee roasting company that developed a freezing process for maintaining roasted coffee freshness.
Lawrence was predeceased by his parents and siblings, Stanley, Herbet Jr., and Edward. He is survived by his spouse, Shelby Marcus; children, Judy Marcus Horn and Cary Shel Marcus, step-children; James Stroope, Jr., Tinna Stroope, and Lisa Browning, grandchildren Joshua Snowhorn and wife Kinga and Hattie Browning, great-grandchildren Alma and Luca, a beloved cousin, Jean Garfield, who is his senior by a year, as well as a large family of cousins, nieces and nephews.
On Monday, November 11, a tribute to Lawrence's adventurous, long and wonderful life will be held at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers Memorials may be made to The Center For Brain Health, 2200 West Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas 75235, 214.905.3007 http://www.brainhealth.utdallas.edu/donate Online condolences can be made at www.Sparkman-Hillcrest .com.
Abounding gratitude goes out to Maria Olide, the many medical professionals at UT Southwestern who graciously and carefully helped care for Mr. Marcus, especially Dr. Sharon Reimold, Echo Cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 8, 2013