Jacob Baker (JB) Lawrimore, Jr., 87, passed away peacefully at MUSC Health Florence Medical Center, Florence, SC on August 22, 2023.
Born in Hemingway, SC, JB was the son of the late Jacob Baker Lawrimore, Sr. and Alma Inez Newell Lawrimore. A born outdoorsman, JB enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening. He was a skilled builder who excelled in cabinetry and construction; he was also a craftsman who created fine handtooled leather goods. He graduated from the University of South Carolina where he was a standout baseball player; he later went on to play minor league baseball and then taught and coached, first at the beginning of his career and again near retirement age. Between his stints in the classroom and on the ballfield, JB worked as a purchasing agent and personnel manager for Fluor Daniel Construction Company for 25 years. After his second retirement from teaching, JB served as Facilities Manager at Florence’s Calvary Baptist Church.
As a child, JB discovered baseball, a pastime that would delight him for the rest of his life. He practiced hitting using a stick for a bat and just about anything he could find for a ball: rocks, pinecones, dirt clods, and occasionally, an actual baseball. JB quickly scored the role of catcher on his high school team, a position he would play for North Greenville Junior College, the University of South Carolina, and a Washington Senators farm club. He remained a long-suffering Gamecocks fan throughout his life.
While JB accomplished much professionally and personally, his greatest joy came from the family he created with his beloved wife, Joyce Hinson Lawrimore, who preceded him in death by four years. JB and Joyce were in college when they met on the campus of Furman University. JB’s cousin Annie Sue, a friend of Joyce’s at Furman, set the two up on the first of many dates. They married December 27, 1957.
When JB and Joyce’s children, Jill and Jay, were just five and three, Joyce began to show symptoms of an illness that would baffle doctors and confuse diagnosticians for decades. From the earliest days of his wife’s illness, JB created solutions that would improve the quality of her life. He fashioned assistant devices, made their home more accessible, and removed or rebuilt obstacles that limited her functionality. His handyman skills along with his ingenuity and persistence helped Joyce to live a long, full life. Meanwhile, Joyce managed nearly all of the administrative responsibilities of the home, freeing JB to take on more and more of her physical care. Their partnership continues to inspire their family and all who knew them well.
As much as JB loved his wife and children, he recognized life’s most generous gift in the joy of his five grandchildren. He savored his time with them, attending their special events, and celebrating their accomplishments. He loved listening to Margaret’s giggles, joining his laughter with hers in pure delight. He spent countless hours hunting with Jake and teaching him leatherworking, enjoying every second. He looked forward to phone calls from Baker and loved hearing him sing and play music. And JB’s favorite week of every summer was Cousin Camp when Rachel and Trellace visited Grandmama and Granddaddy’s house together. His grandchildren–and three years ago, his great-granddaughter–provided him with endless joy.
One great memory JB’s grandchildren love to recall is going up to Calvary Baptist to “help granddaddy work.” As Facilities Manager, JB often had jobs at the church that the children assumed he could not do without their help. His work there brought him much satisfaction–with or without grandchildren in the mix.
His careful attention to the practical needs of his church reflected his love for Christ. His faith sustained him through life’s trials and increased his joy in times of triumph. Knowing he is now enjoying his heavenly reward eases the pain his loved ones feel at his passing.
He is survived by a daughter Jill (Ted) Webster and son Jay (Aileen) Lawrimore; brothers Gary Lawrimore, Terry Lawrimore, and Rodger Lawrimore; grandchildren Rachel (Carson) Breckenridge, Trellace Lawrimore, Baker (Addison) Lawrimore, Jake Webster, and Margaret Lawrimore; and great-granddaughter Thea Breckenridge.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at the Lawrimore Family Cemetery located at 2299 Muddy Creek Road, Hemingway, SC 29554.