George A. Smith & Sons Funeral Home

2812 North Highland, Jackson, TN


Swanee Burrus Lawrence Sr.

February 7, 1926September 3, 2020

Swanee Burrus Lawrence, Sr., age 94 of Jackson, passed away on September 3, 2020 with his loving wife by his side.

He was born on February 7, 1926 in Jackson, TN to the late James S. and Alma Allen Lawrence. He was married to the former Ella Reynolds. Mr. Lawrence was a decorated war veteran proud of his military service. After graduating high school at Columbia Military Academy in 1944, he resigned from an officer training program and enlisted in the US Navy to make sure he would be in action before World War II ended. He saw action in the Battle of Okinawa on a ship that endured kamikaze attacks and a monsoon. After World War II he joined the Naval Reserve and was called back to duty serving at Thule, Greenland during the Korean War.

After WWII, he went to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. For over 40 years he owned and operated a farm near McKellar Field in Madison County. He first went into farming together with his father James Lawrence Sr. and was named Outstanding Young Farmer by the Tennessee Farm Bureau. He and his father also owned a farm supply and general merchandise store until the 1960's.

He served his community on the Board of Trustees of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital from 1966-71, and also served for many years on the board of directors of the National Bank of Commerce in Jackson.

While he farmed his entire career, his training as an engineer gave him an avid interest in technology, especially computers. He was a devoted Christian who gave countless hours to Fellowship Bible Church helping to record and distribute sermons on electronic media before the internet became prevalent. After his retirement he also mentored disadvantaged children in the use of computers.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, James S. Lawrence, Jr., and a sister Virginia Lawrence Sculley.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years Ella Reynolds Lawrence of Jackson; Daughter, Brownie Clinton of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Son, Swan Lawrence (Sandy) of Topeka, Kansas, and three nieces.

Due to the current pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later time when it is safe to do so. Swanee will be buried on the Lawrence family plot at Ridgecrest Cemetery.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Swanee Burrus Lawrence Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bo Lawrence

September 15, 2020

Dear Brownie and Swan, I always had an immense respect for your father in many ways. My Dad told me he could take a tractor apart and put it back together blindfolded. I remember how faithful he was to the church. He will be missed by many. Love, Cousin Bo and Amy

Bev Moomau Strand

September 11, 2020

Dear Brownie...I’m so sorry about the loss of your Dad. Your family held a special place in my heart. ❤️

David Kirby

September 7, 2020

Brownie, As I read about your father’s life, I see he was a war veteran and a Volunteer, and clearly a Southern gentleman who led a long and productive life. My sincere condolences to you and your family.


September 7, 2020

Brownie and Swanee, I am very sorry for your loss- I was very fond of your dad. He will missed by all.
Lanny Rose

Donna Carter Hill

September 7, 2020

Brownie I am so sorry for your loss. Our Daddies were very special. Think of you often , from our kindergarten days all through school. Missed seeing you through the years

Yvonne Horn Aymett

September 6, 2020

Brownie, I have such fond memories of you! I remember we were together on that bank trip to Hawaii. I was so excited to see you!
My deepest sympathy to you in your loss.
Yvonne Horn Aymett

Gina Fortner

September 6, 2020

Brownie, I’m so very sorry to hear about the death of your father. May God be with you and keep you during this time. Love, Gina Sipes Fortner

Jennifer Appell

September 4, 2020

We send our condolences to Miss Ella and your family. As members of Fellowship Bible Church, we had the joy of knowing and spending time with Mr. Swanee and Miss Ella for many years.
His kindness, energy, and smile will be missed by us all.
May God bless your family with peace as you feel the loss of this wonderful man.


Learn more about the Lawrence name