Born in Speers Ferry, VA, he moved to Yuma, VA at the age of 11 and entered military service in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. He worked for Kingsport Press for a few months before entering the service and came back there to work as a folding machine operator upon his discharge from the Army. Lawrence retired from Kingsport Press in 1984 after more than 38 years of service. While in service in the European theater of war he was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge and was held as a Prisoner of War in Chemnitz, Germany until the end of the war.
He was an active church member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church where he served as an usher for many years. He also had taught a class of Junior Boys. Besides his church membership, he was Co-Commander of the VFW Color Guard, a member of the American Legion Post #24 in Johnson City, a member of VFW Post #3382 in Kingsport, and belonged to the Disabled Veterans Chapter #32. Lawrence also belonged to the East Tennessee Chapter of Ex POWs in Johnson City and the National POWs. He was Chaplain of the Purple Heart Chapter #244 of Johnson City.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Cleo I. (Betty) Shoemaker; father, Ben F. Shoemaker; mother Velva Jane Smith; step-sisters, Bernice Cornett and Patsy Rosky; and step-brother, Jimmie D. Smith.
Lawrence is survived his brothers, Walter F. Shoemaker, John C. Shoemaker, and Conley H. Smith; sisters-in-law, Brenda Phillips, Joyce Grills, Wanda Johnson and Thelma Honaker; brother-in-law, Baker Lockhart; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 3-7:00 pm on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport.
The graveside service will be held on Sunday at 2:00 pm at Oak Hill Memorial Park. Military Graveside Rites will be presented by the American Legion Posts 3/265 and Boone Dam VFW #4933.
The family suggests that those who wish may make contributions to the American Legion 301 Louis St., #301, Kingsport, TN 37660, or to the VFW Color Guard, 803 Minga Rd., Kingsport, TN 37663.
Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson, Kingsport is serving the family of Lawrence E. Shoemaker.