John Carl Lawrence, 84, of Baton Rouge, LA, passed away at home on March 8, 2022 surrounded by his wife and two daughters. John was born on October 17, 1937 in Greensburg, PA, to Carl and Anne Lawrence. He graduated from St. Vincent High School then studied at St. Vincent College and University of Tampa. After serving in the Army for three years, he managed a Kress Store in Miami, Florida. There he met Cristina de la Cruz who became his wife. As he liked to tell it, he had no intention of settling down anytime soon and thought to himself upon spotting her, “Oh drats, I’m in trouble.” They were married shortly after.
John went on to a long career in institutional food service, holding food service director roles at Washington University and Case Western Reserve before moving to Toledo, Ohio and becoming President of Creative Food Management, a subsidiary of Gladieux Enterprises. While in Toledo, he served on the board of Mobile Meals, reorganizing its method of operations. He was also on the board of Junior Achievement. In 1991 he co-founded ABL Management, Inc. in Baton Rouge, where he acted as CEO until his retirement in 2002. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited and enjoyed hunting. After retiring he had many happy years doing the things he loved best, which included gardening, playing golf, traveling with his wife and their friends, spending time with his family, dining out and, and smoking an occasional cigar with a vodka in hand while watching the koi swim in the backyard pond. He also took up painting in later in life and surprised everyone, including himself, with his newly found talent.
John is survived by his wife, Cristina; daughter Chris Kripke and her daughters, Morgan and Erin; his daughter Eileen Lawrence and her husband Michael Dowd and their sons Colin and Reece; his sister, Eileen Parks and her daughter Andi Bennett; his brother Robert Lawrence.
The visitation will be held at Most Blessed Sacrament on Friday, March 18th at 10:00 AM with the funeral mass immediately following at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to John’s favorite charity, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, https://svdpbr.org/donate, or another organization you support.