Col. Harley E. Lawrence, USAF (RET), 81, of Homosassa, FL, passed away on Sun., Jan. 31, 2021 at Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville, FL.
A native of Oklahoma City, OK, he was born July 25, 1939, the only child to Harley E., Sr. and Vera (Ollis) Lawrence. Harley earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University and then answered America's call to duty by serving honorably and proudly in the United States Air Force for 27 years as a highly decorated commissioned officer and pilot, retiring from reserve duty on July 25, 1999. Harley served in Vietnam and flew 300 missions, earning among many decorations the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with many oak leaf clusters; all awarded to Harley for his heroism. His love of flying also led him to a career as a commercial pilot with TWA, with whom he enjoyed 25 years of service, retiring at the rank of Captain.
Col. Lawrence moved to Homosassa in 2004 from Lenexa, KS with his beloved wife Patricia "Pat" Lawrence. Until 2010, Harley enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and among his other passions in life were ham radios, golf, airplanes and all things aviation, and his life membership in the NRA. As a devoted patriot, he loved the Republican Party, America and God and considered himself a warrior. He enjoyed his vodka martinis with three large olives and would always tell Pat "I love you with my whole heart".
In addition to his wife Pat of Homosassa, FL, Col. Lawrence is also survived by son Zachary Lawrence (wife Michiko), Bristow, VA; daughter Cassie Franco (husband Antonio), Las Vegas, NV; stepson Andy Rawlings (wife Cherie), Lenexa, KS and stepdaughter Jill Rawlings, Hudson, FL; grandchildren Ryder, Indio and Aylin Franco, all of Las Vegas, NV and stepgranddaughter Aubrey Rawlings of Lenexa, KS.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1st United Methodist Church of Homosassa on Tues., Feb. 16, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. with Pastor Patti Aupperlee officiating. Interment will follow at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL at 2:30 P.M. with military honors being rendered by the American Legion Post #155 of Crystal River, FL and the United States Air Force. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in Harley's name to H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 12902 USF Magnolia Dr., Tampa, FL 33612-9497. Services entrusted to Wilder Funeral Home, Homosassa, FL. www.wilderfuneral.com