In Remembrance Of

Ginger Lawrence

Virginia “Ginger” Lawrence passed peacefully in her sleep on January 21, 2024.

Ginger loved interacting with all babies and little kids; playing Scrabble and working crossword puzzles; watching Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, and Law and Order: SVU; decorating cakes; and listening to country and western music . . . but, most of all, she loved her four daughters, five grandkids, and five great-grandkids.

The second child of Tommie and Gussie (Johnson) Yazel, Ginger (Virginia Deane) was born Dec. 28, 1936, in Harrisonville, MO. She attended both Manchester and Kensington Elementary Schools and graduated from East High School in 1954. She worked at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Montgomery Ward in Kansas City. After moving to Smithville in 1968, she worked at Western Auto, True Value, and Major Lumber Company, where she loved interacting with customers. In 1973, she began working at Mid-Continent Library in Smithville, where she loved interacting with patrons and helping them find the books and other resources they needed. In 1982, she was named head librarian, a promotion her family found most ironic because she, herself, did not particularly like to read. She remained head librarian until 1999, when those “damn computers” became the primary motivation for her retiring. A true Capricorn, she thrived on routine and wanted no part of any changes. She was formerly a member of the PTA, the Smithville Jaycees Wives, and the Smithville Red Hatters. She was also very active in Girl Scouts, a truly “happy camper,” who served as both leader and Neighborhood Chairman.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Gary Yazel, as well as by her ex-husband John Lawrence, with whom she shared more than 60 years of memories.

She is survived by daughters Valerie (Bob) Halas, Vanessa Lawrence, Kelly Shanks, and Kami (Russ) Hunter; grandchildren Brian (McKenzie) Simmons, Tyler Simmons, Matt (Marissa) Halas, Sydney Halas, and Kristal (Deandre Ramos) Hunter; great-grandchildren Mason and Penelope Simmons, Sophia Hunter, and Jenny and James Halas; sister Karen Sue (Bill) Watt ; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

 The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Linden Woods Village in Gladstone for all they did to bring comfort and joy not only to Ginger but also to her family.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the YMCA’s Our Cause: Feeding Hungry Kids.

A festive gathering in the true spirit of Ginger will be held Saturday, April 20, at Hixson-Klein Funeral Home in Smithville. The family will “meet and greet” from 11:00 until 1:00, at which time Ginger’s Celebration of Life will begin. Don your favorite comfy clothes and matching accessories because that is what Ginger would have wanted . . . for everyone to be comfortable–but fashionably coordinated–and LAUGHING—long and loud!

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Comments & condolences


  • Cindy Carter

    So sorry to hear this about Ginger. We knew her for many years. Her daughter’s were our babysitter’s when we were very young. She was a great lady and always had a smile on her face. Our prayers to the family.
    Cindy (Montgomery) Carter

  • Rita Hanks

    I am so sorry for your loss. She will be missed. What a smile she always brought to my face.

  • Denise Breckenridge

    I didn’t get to see Ginger very often lately because of health problems but she was one if the most genuine people I have ever met. We had a lot of talks and a lot of fun. I will miss her. I am glad she was my friend

  • Carolyn & William Forsyth

    She was a great lady very happy and very friendly

  • Lisa Lizar Barber

    I always loved your mom- so unique and fun loving❤️
    Always looking good and making things better for those around her. May she rest in peace❤️

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