Obituary | Bernell (Bernie) Edmon Lawrence
Bernell (Bernie) Edmon Lawrence was born on March 6, 1931 in Pima, Arizona to Frona Marie (Dexter) and Nathan Elvin Lawrence. Bernell returned to his Heavenly Father on March 8, 2023.
Bernie was married to Barbara Jane Smith in 1951, with whom he had four children – Brant, Jodie, Rita and Sarah. Bernell moved to Kingman, Arizona where he met the love of his life and forever friend Merridy Eileen Morgan and was married Jan. 6, 1967 adding, Marty, Peggy and Carrie to his family. They celebrated 46 years as proud parents to all seven children, 21 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. They were sealed to their family for time and all eternity on Jan. 6, 1979. Merridy was by his side during every adventure from Alaska to Mexico until she was laid to rest Jan. 24, 2013.
Bernie spent thousands of hours in the wilderness hunting all sorts of wildlife from coyotes to moose, but is best known for his advancement in big horn sheep and elk conservation along with mountain lion population control.
Since he was 12 years old he knew he was going to be a professional hunter one day. He listened and learned from everyone around him, but gained the most from his father, Nathan, who taught him tracking and trapping.
Bernie had patience and understanding of every animal he set his sights to and would use this to guide hunts all over the western United States, provide information to state programs for wildlife conservation, and teach future generations to love the great outdoors as much as he did. Bernie would later use his talents in tracking to assist law enforcement in hunting a new kind of animal.
Though Bernie had never set his sights to being a police officer, he frequently assisted the local ranchers in identifying cattle rustlers which eventually led to a full-time job in the war against drugs. Though his exploits as a legendary law man were exciting and he had many authors entertaining readers around the globe repeating his adventures, his focus always has been his faith, family and “the farm.”
Bernie was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 28, 1972 in the John Day River with three foot snow drifts on the banks. From this day forward, Bernie felt that he was never alone, that he was blessed in providing for his family and secure in his many endeavors regardless of the dangers.
His family provided him with dozens of wide-eyed children sitting at his feet, hanging on his every word. Children adored him and learned from his life-changing advice; children who would forever understand the farm as a safe place that always had green beans and tomatoes fresh on the vine, and apple and peach trees that seemed to sprout from the rocks in the harsh Mojave Desert.
The farm is a manifestation to how he lived his life by the law of the harvest – for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Bernie sowed a legacy that has and will continue to change lives far and wide for generations to come.
Bernie will be laid to rest next to his wife Merridy on March 18, 2023 at the Kingman Cemetery. Services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 610 Eastern Ave. in Kingman, Arizona at 10 a.m.
Bernell is survived by his siblings Colon (Lou) Lawrence, and Judy (Eddy) Kilby; and his children Brant (Tamara) Lawrence, Jodie (Harold) Gaugler, Rita (Bob) Steele, Sarah Wolsey, Peggy (Norman) Rowden and Carrie Lawrence.
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