Funeral service for Harry Ray Lawrence, age 73, of Brashear will be held at 1:00 P.M on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at St. James Catholic Church with Rev. Victor Hernandez officiating. Rosary will be held from 1:00 to 3:00, Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at Murray Orwosky Funeral Home. Interment will take place at Calvary Cemetery in Galveston. Mr. Lawrence passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2023 at Sulphur Springs Health and Rehab, with his wife, Melinda, by his side.
Harry Ray was born on September 30, 1949 in Galveston, Texas to Paul M. and Mary Angela (Pierotti) Lawrence, both having preceded him in death. Harry was a practicing Catholic all of his life. As a child he attended Sacred Heart School from Kindergarten to the seventh grade and then Kirwin High School, graduating in 1967. While at Kirwin, he lettered in football, scored a touchdown as a defensive lineman and was all district offensive lineman his senior year. He initially attended St. Edwards University but transferred to Lamar University, graduating in 1971. Harry felt it important to be of service to his community and fellow man, so from his second year in college he decided the best way for him to do this was to go into law enforcement. In September 1972, he joined the Galveston Police Department, first as a patrolman, then in 1975 was promoted to Detective. He remained at the Galveston Police Department until November 1, 1977, when he began employment as an Investigator with the Harris County, Texas District Attorney’s Office. It was during this time that he was able to observe more fully the judicial process and prosecution of the law as well as many fine trial attorneys. Impressed by what he saw, Harry decided to go to Law School and was accepted into South Texas College of Law in September of 1982. He attended night classes, while still working at the District Attorneys office. He graduated in May of 1986 and was licensed in November of that year. He was hired as an assistant District Attorney in April of 1987, and he remained there until his retirement in August of 2013. During his tenure at that office, he started in the trial bureau but spent the last twenty-three years in the Consumer Fraud Division, investigating and prosecuting economic crime case, many of which involved multi-million dollar investment frauds and Ponzi schemes. After retirement, Harry and his wife Melinda moved to Sulphur Springs, Texas and lived on their twenty-acre homestead with their horses, dogs and cats. Harry always liked history and especially WW II history. When living in the Houston area and to further his interest in WW II, Harry volunteered at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. He became lead ramp Marshaller and one of the crew chiefs for the museum’s B-17. As such, he took many trips flying on that plane, as well as several of the museum's planes. After his retirement and leaving the Houston area, Harry became involved with a WW II Living History group that portrayed the U.S. Army Paratrooper. They conducted many educational and informative displays throughout Texas for the public, not to glorify war but to honor the sacrifices, traditions, and contributions of the American soldiers of that war, particularly those of the paratroopers. This was one of Harry’s and this group’s main goals and one of which he was proud of doing. Harry always hoped that he could make someone’s life and maybe the world in general better by his efforts as a policeman, prosecutor, and human being. Hopefully he achieved his goal.
Harry is survived by his wife of thirty-two years, Melinda Mills Lawrence; daughter, Tammy and several cousins in the Houston and Beaumont area.