Cover photo for Camille Irene Lawrence's Obituary
Camille Irene Lawrence Profile Photo
1929 Camille 2021

Camille Irene Lawrence

May 25, 1929 — June 15, 2021

Camille Irene Lawrence of Gull Lake (Augusta), Michigan was the first child born to Claude and Ruth Smith, in Kalamazoo, MI on May 25, 1929. Two siblings followed, Sherry (Miller) and Daniel. She was raised in the Episcopal Church and carried those beliefs throughout her life. All members of her childhood family have been waiting for her in heaven.

Camille was a social butterfly. Everyone who knew her loved her. She was a great wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, in-law, aunt, neighbor and on and on. She enjoyed parties and any celebration, especially if it included a bit of wine. Actually a bit of wine is understated. Camille could always be convinced it was 5:00 o'clock somewhere and she raised her glass to celebrate it. Camille really enjoyed her standing as Nana and all of the holidays spent with her large family. All family members were welcomed! And came! We all looked forward to each event.

Following high school graduation from Kalamazoo Central, Camille was anxious to pursue her M.R.S. at Western College. She was able to earn her desired "degree" following an introduction to a Milwood boy, Jack W. Lawrence who she married a year later on May 14, 1949. Three children, Marty, Cathi and David nearly completed the family and had a great life on the west side of Kalamazoo. Much to everyone's surprise, 14 years after their youngest David was born, Camille and Jack learned another baby was on the way. Mollie was the gift that completed the family.

Camille was a friend to all, a good neighbor and our family leader. She loved to travel, as long as it was within 20 miles of her home. But she did go to New York City with her three daughters to celebrate her 85th birthday. It was sailor week and she made friends with several of the boys in white. She even danced on Broadway. Camille played tennis into her late 70's and frequently reminded us that her opponents were mostly the age of her kids. Camille liked to attend parties, entertain and seldom missed a chance to go to the Country Club. She loved her big July 4th family gatherings and the summer, Sunday dock and dinner rituals. Camille couldn't sing, but she sure could laugh. Everyone remembers her laugh. Whether you knew her as Mom, Nana, Mrs. Lawrence or Camille, she will be missed by all.

Camille passed away early on June 15, 2021 in Borgess Hospital, where she was born. At the age of 92, she was proceeded in death by her parents, her siblings, her husband, her nephew Jeff Smith and granddaughter Heather Nelson. Remaining to celebrate her life are family members and their significant others, Marty and John Hettinga, Cathi and Ron Harris, David and Renonda (Elrod) Lawrence and Mollie and Matt Fish; her loyal grandchildren Cory and Jenna Hettinga, Cass and Erin (Segar) Hettinga, Brooke and Josh Heiple, Nick and Megan Harris, Alex and Anna (Rakowski) Harris, Dylan and Taylor Lawrence, Ryan Bailey, Mackenzie Sternburgh, and Avery and Mollie Fish; her delightful great-grandchildren, Warren John Hettinga, Sophia Camille and Charlotte Mae Heiple, Kate Abagail Harris, Jack Otis Lawrence, Braden Richard Hembree plus two babies due before the end of summer. She also leaves her beloved sister (in law) Judy Smith, her loyal brother (in law), Gene (known to the family as Fax) (Jean)Miller and their families, as well as her special neig2hborhood family (who included her in all of their cocktail parties and dinners) and some very dear friends who she has stayed close to since high school. Special thanks to Kevin and Betty Miller (nephew and niece) for all the yummy meals they shared with her during their frequent visits.

A private burial with Camille's family in attendance has taken place and she is now resting next to Jack in the Yorkville Cemetery overlooking their beloved Gull Lake. Camille spent many years in the Ladies of the Lake group and donations may be sent to the scholarship program c/o 7877 Bendere Road Hickory Corners, MI 49060.

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home and Cremation Care, Richland Chapel has assisted Camille's Family with her arrangements.


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