The funeral service will be held Friday for a longtime Atlanta police officer known as the “gentle giant” for his work coaching youth.
Stanley Lawrence was shot to death Feb. 19 in his Riverdale home, and his wife has been charged with his murder. Lawrence was 58.
A viewing will be held Thursday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Murray Brothers Funeral Home’s Cascade Chapel in Atlanta. A wake will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
The funeral for Lawrence will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta.
A Jesup native, the 6-foot-8 Lawrence attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where his defensive skills helped the basketball team to three straight conference titles.
The Chattanooga Mocs had joined the Southern Conference in 1978, according to Jim Horten, UTC basketball’s communications director. The following season was Lawrence’s freshman year.
“Stanley was a vital part of some of the best Southern Conference squads in league history,” Horten said in an email to the AJC. “There is a popular saying now about players being ‘glue guys.’ He didn’t win all-conference honors, but he was certainly a ‘glue guy’ helping the program establish itself in what has become the SoCon’s dominant program ... and making a name for itself nationally.”
In 1990, Lawrence joined the Atlanta police department. His most recent assignment suited him perfectly, his colleagues said. Lawrence worked with the Police Athletic League, combining his love of helping children and basketball.
“Not only was he a coach on the basketball court to these kids, but he coached them off the court as well,” APD Deputy Chief Terrell Griffin said. “He would instill in them the importance of being on time, being well-groomed, leaving a place cleaner than how you found out.”
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