John Lawrence

Columbus, Mississippi


June 15, 2016
Columbus, Mississippi


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Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home & Crematory Obituary

J.B. “Bud” Lawrence, Jr.


John Bestor (Bud) Lawrence, age 81, died Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at Trinity Retirement Center in Columbus. Services will be held Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Pete Bowen and Larry Montgomery officiating. Visitation will be held Sunday from 12:30 PM until service time at the funeral home.


Mr. Lawrence was born on Sunday, December 09, 1934, in Ethelsville, AL to the late Luna Mae Burns and John B. Lawrence, Sr.

He was a graduate of S.D. Lee High School, and played football at East Mississippi Junior College. When Bud met Dessie Ezell for the first time, he knew she was his love and being afraid she would get away, swept her off her feet at the age of 16. That feeling never changed for the nearly 60 years they were married.

Bud was an avid supporter and regular attendant of his grandchildren’s athletic and band activities as well as his nephew’s college football career and in later years his car racing career.

His working career began as a switchgear installer for Western Electric and he traveled all over the southeast from Florida to south Texas. At some locations he was able to have his wife and very young son with him. When he relocated to Columbus, he began his truck driving career with Campbell’s 66. He also worked with Merchant’s Truck Line, Roadway and finally, and for the longest run, with Yellow Freight. He continued to work until his health forced him into retirement at the age of 79.

He and his fellow team members were awarded a national safety award in 2000. He participated in the Mississippi Trucking Association trucking rodeos well into his 70’s, even winning his division at the State level earning a trip to the Nationals at the age of 65. He holds the record for the oldest active working member of the Teamster’s Union.

In addition to his working career, he successfully ran his own pallet recycling business for nearly 20 years.

Bud’s work ethic was immeasurable. He managed to work when he broke his neck and lost his job. He was able to support the family even after he got his hand stuck in a haybaler and had to have surgery to put his hand back together. His entire motivation was supporting and taking care of his family. Even before he met and married the love of his life, and right up until the day he died, every single action was a selfless act of support and care of his family.

We love you, Bud, and miss you immensely.

I love you Daddy…Sis!



In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Harrington.


Survivors include:

His wife:

Dessie E. Lawrence, Columbus MS



Angela (Sammy) Fondren, Columbus, MS



Mitchell (Lisa) Lawrence, Columbus, MS



Doris (Frank) Dailey, Columbus, MS


Four Grandchildren:

John Casey (Christine) Fondren

Ana Claire Fondren

Daran (Virginia) Chism

Jennifer Chism


Three Great Grand Children:

John Braxton Fondren

Sadie Elizabeth Fondren

Andrew Bryce Chism



Imogene (Larry) Lawrence,

Wynell (Gordy) Koenigsberger,




Laurie Ezell



Neil Ezell

Blake (Shae) Koenigsberger


And a host of nieces and nephews.


The Pallbearers will be:

Mitch Lawrence

Sammy Fondren

Casey Fondren

Blake Koenigsberger

Claude Perrett

Drew Clayton

Dewayne Phipps


The Honorary Pallbearers will be:

Alonzo Phillips

Buddy Sanders

Bobby Gail

Bill Robertson

Dr. Susan Taylor

Gwen Cole

Trucking friends at YRC


Trinity Retirement Place

Tommy Southerland

Ted Younger.


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Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. So sorry for your loss.

Praying for comfort for your family during this difficult time.

I have fond memories of JB when we worked together in Columbus at Yellow Freight. I always enjoyed his enthusiasm and hard work. We will miss him . God Bless.

I am sorry to hear of J B's passing. We met at a National Truck Driving Championship event where J B was competing as the Mississippi State Champion. He was committed to his craft and was a true knight of the road. But more than a professional truck driver, he was a kind and caring man. I will miss him! Jim Wilcox New Mexico Yellow Driver.

Dear Family Friends,
So, so sorry about your loss. Sending love and sympathy to each of you.
Jim and Hazel Hodges and extended Family.