Obituary: Lavon Lawrence
November 27, 2023
Lavon Emma (Stokes) Lawrence, age 83, peacefully departed on November 11, 2023, in Carrington, N.D., surrounded by two of her daughters.
Lavon was born May 8, 1940, to Erling and Erma (Helm) Stokes in Cathay, N.D.
A private graveside service was held Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at the Carrington Cemetery.
Lavon's Celebration of Life open house was held Saturday, November 25, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., at the Chieftain, Carrington, N.D.
Lavon graduated from Carrington High School in 1958. There she participated in various school clubs including baton twirling, as well as performed in the Rainbow Rollercade Review.
As a teenager, Lavon lost her hearing, but this did not hold her back as she learned to lip read extremely well and it seemed to have heightened her other senses as well. She had profound empathy and routinely stood up for those who were less fortunate. She did not want anyone to feel less than others.
She started college at the University of North Dakota - Grand Forks and transferred to North Dakota State University, where she was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.
Lavon married Anupam Banerji in 1962 and eventually relocated from Fargo, N.D., to Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
In 1977, Lavon married Cletus James Lawrence of St. Michaels, N.D., and they eventually settled in a log house on the Stokes farm in Carrington, N.D., where she resided until her passing.
Lavon lived her life on her terms regardless of others and believed strongly in fulfilling one's personal Truth. She was an avid reader of all books, especially of Faith and philosophy. Lavon wanted to learn about all cultures and often hosted folks from other countries embracing their uniqueness.
Lavon became immersed in East Indian culture after visiting India in 1963. She found the Baha'i Faith in the 1960s and spent the rest of her life bringing the Word to everyone she encountered. Lavon lived her life with a strong sense of Unity for All and if anyone was in need, Lavon responded without a second thought.
Lavon was a storyteller. She loved to bring her vast experiences to life through detailed accounts of her many unique encounters with people from across the globe. She adored Mexico, and she became "godmother" to numerous Mayan children over the 20 years she visited Quintana Roo, Mexico. She also "adopted" a Mexican son, Gonzalo Chavez of Mexico City, Mexico, who remains close to Lavon's family.
Lavon instilled in her children to be kind and helpful to all. She enjoyed lively discussions about anything, spending time with family and yearly visits to Playa del Carmen.
Lavon is survived by her siblings, Charlene Haertel and Kim Stokes. She is also survived by her six children, Gail Arne of Breezy Point, Minn., Robi Banerji, Anjana Banerji and Arun Banerji all of Ontario, Canada, and Lavina Martinez and Hunter Short Bear of Carrington, N.D.; as well
as her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Erling and Erma Stokes and her brother, Douglas Stokes.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the family at 101 4th Avenue South, Carrington, ND 58421.
Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Carrington and New Rockford, N.D.