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Elsie Lawrence CLEMENS


1916 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Elsie Lawrence CLEMENS Obituary
CLEMENS, Elsie Lawrence

Elsie Lawrence Clemens died on July 20, 2014. She was born March 20, 1916 to C.W. and Ethie Wood Lawrence in Quitman, Texas. The Lawrence and Wood families were early settlers of Wood County, Texas and Elsie was proud to be a fourth generation Texan.

Growing up in Brackenridge, Texas she was not happy when her junior year of high school her family moved to Longview, at the time, a Texas oil boomtown with overcrowded schools. The unhappy situation of half day school sessions was soon forgotten when at the Elmira Presbyterian Church she met her future husband John Clemens.

Elmira Presbyterian Church figured prominently in their lives. John's great grandparents had given the land and most of the building materials for the church. John and Elsie were married there on January 9, 1933. Their daughter Gaye Elizabeth was baptized in the church and their infant daughter Christa is buried in the church cemetery.

Moving to Austin in 1941 the Clemens family became members of the First Southern Presbyterian Church, now Central Presbyterian. John worked as C.P.A. and Elsie enjoyed being a homemaker.

During her middle years Elsie decided that since she had never had a job outside the home, she needed one to broaden her life experience. Quite sure no one would hire her, she went to the former Capital National Bank on her first job interview. The bank hired her during the interview. Several years at the bank provided her with what she thought was the necessary experience in the business world and Elsie returned to being a homemaker.

No holiday, birthday, anniversary or other occasion occurred without a family dinner being scheduled. These dinners were usually followed with Scrabble games. Family members of all ages participated. While played for enjoyment, these games were also valued as learning experiences for the younger family members.

As a longtime resident of Austin, Elsie belonged to many civic, social and church organizations. She was a current member of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Family and friends will remember Elsie as a gracious hostess and accomplished cook, an avid bridge player, a voracious reader, an excellent seamstress, a joyful singer and dancer and a peace making, loyal friend.

Fiercely and lovingly devoted to her family, if asked, she would have said that her greatest accomplishment was being a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.

Elsie is predeceased by John, her husband of sixty-nine years; their infant daughter, son-in-law Jack Garner Fritts and great-grandson Cole Weston LaGrone.

She is survived by daughter Gaye Clemens Fritts; granddaughters Sandra Fritts Walker, Sarah Fritts Shankle and husband Mark Eric Shankle; great-grandsons Robert Christopher Walker "Chris", Ryan Thomas Walker, John Hamilton Wilkerson III "Jack", Samuel Clemens LaGrone "Sam", Michael Christopher Shankle "Mike", and identical twin great-great grandsons Vincent Thomas Walker and Gabriel Byron Walker.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff at Hospice Austin's Christopher House for the excellent, compassionate care provided for Elsie.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery on Hancock Drive with The Reverend Laura Walters officiating.

Pall bearers will be Mark Shankle, Chris Walker, Ryan Walker, Jack Wilkerson, Mike Shankle, Mickey lkints and Sam LaGrone in absentia.

In lieu of flowers those wishing to may make memorial contributions to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Boulevard, Austin, Texas, 78703.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith". II Timothy 4:7

Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from July 24 to July 26, 2014
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