Dave Lawrence

David B. “Dave” Lawrence passed away at Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
Dave was born July 17, 1937, in Manhattan, Kan., the son of Donald S. and Anna Louise (Shellenbaum) Lawrence. Dave married Rhea A. Lake on Oct. 19, 1957, in Lawrence, Kan.; they have four children, David O. Lawrence of Brush, Colo., Cherise (David) Lewis of Mahomet, Susan (Charles) Penny of Roswell, Ga., and Dena Lawrence of Savoy; and three grandchildren, Theresa Lawrence of Urbana, Reid (Etienne) Penny of Marietta, Ga., and Blake (Jeicel) Penny of Kechi, Kan.
Dave was preceded in death by his older brother, Gary (and wife Peggy), and his younger sister, Patricia.
When Dave was 5 years old, his family moved to Topeka, Kan., where he attended Central Park Grade School, Crane Junior High and Topeka High School, and later attended Kansas State University, where he met his wife, Rhea. Prior to coming to Champaign, Dave was affiliated with the Joliet Boys Club, Topeka, Kan., Boys Club, the Adolescent Unit of the Menninger Foundation (while attending Washburn University) and one of the Union League Boys Clubs of Chicago.
In 1968, Dave settled into the Champaign-Urbana community as the founding executive director of The Boys Club of C-U, later named The Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club of Champaign County. In the 10 years to follow, Dave joined the Champaign Rotary Club, became a member and president of the Right to Read Council of Champaign County, a board member of Reading is Fundamental, a member of the Unit 4 Alternative Education planning group, and was Fourth of July Celebration Parade chair. Dave was also the only private sector agency representative appointed to the State of Illinois Delinquency Prevention Advisory Board. Dave was recipient of the C-U Jaycees Outstanding Young Man Award. All the while, Dave was active in the St. Matthew Catholic Church from the choir to fundraising to religious education.
The next 10 years found Dave as executive director for the United Way of Champaign County. Dave was an advisory board member for the University of Illinois Volunteer Illini Projects, a visiting lecturer at the UI College of Leisure Studies on private agency management, chair of Champaign County Funders Council, served as president of the Champaign Rotary Club, and became a board member of the Champaign County Crime Stoppers, later serving on the Crime Stoppers State Board as well.
In the 1990s and beyond, Dave returned to his roots as a board member and served a term as president of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, and was president of the Illinois Area Council of Boys & Girls Clubs. Dave was the recipient of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club Silver Medallion.
Dave was a board member and twice served as president of Champaign County CASA, and was a member and president of the Champaign County Salvation Army Board of Directors. Dave served two terms as a trustee for Savoy and was currently the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals for that community. Dave was named “Savoy Citizen of the Year” by the Savoy Rotary Club.
Dave served two terms as the Mid-State representative appointed to the State of Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, executive director of Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation, and board member and vice president of St. Joseph Sportsman’s Club. Dave received the Award of Appreciation from the Illinois State Crime Stoppers Association for exceptional service to the Illinois State Crime Stoppers and the local Crime Stoppers Programs of Illinois for his dedicated efforts with House Bill 0598 to protect all citizens’ identity and help ensure their anonymity. In 2010, Dave received Special Commendation from Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for his years of dedicated leadership and service.
Dave was a Champaign Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, an Art Skelton Fellow, and received the Avenues of Service Award from Rotary International in 2010.
Dave spent two years as the national executive director of the LeaderShape Institute before joining the team of WCIA-TV until he retired. Adding fulfillment to his retirement, Dave worked at WILL-TV obtaining sponsorships.
Dave could always be seen supporting and rooting on the Illini -- all sports! -- and is a true-blue-Lou fan! His passion for the Illini led him to create, produce and host a radio show on WDWS, “The Other Illini,” which featured integral, behind-the-scenes athletes and coaches. Dave was currently serving on the Illini Networkers Board for women’s volleyball. Dave was an avid St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Blackhawks fan, and loved golfing, fishing and pheasant and quail hunting.
A visitation was held from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, located at 1303 Lincolnshire Drive in Champaign, in Feeney Hall. A rosary followed the visitation at the church, beginning at 10:30 a.m., with a funeral Mass at 11 a.m., all on Saturday.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club, the United Way of Champaign County, St. Matthew Catholic Parish, CASA or the Salvation Army of Champaign.

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