Dr. Roy Albert Lawrence, PhD
January 7, 1929 - October 14, 2023

We are saddened to announce the passing of Roy Lawrence on October 14, 2023.
Roy was born on January 7, 1929 in Richmond, Virginia to Lawrence A. Lawrence and Elma Bogdahn Lawrence. Roy was raised in Oklahoma from an early age by his Uncle OC Bogdahn and Aunt Vera, alongside their sons, Carl and Don. Roy was considered one of the family.
Roy graduated with a junior college degree from the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1949. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Oklahoma in 1951, he moved to Columbus, Ohio to work for the Battelle Memorial Institute. In Columbus, he met and married Phyllis Nadine "Dee" Schneider in 1954. Shortly after marriage, he served in the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. After being discharged, Roy worked in the aviation industry in development of nuclear-powered bomber engines at General Dynamics in Texas. While working, he earned his Master's degree in Nuclear Engineering from Southern Methodist University. He went on to attend SMU full time, earning his Doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1967.
Roy was professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, from 1967-1996. Roy enjoyed the variety of challenges presented by the field of mechanical engineering, and his career included research into emerging topics of energy efficiency and robotics. During his tenure at OU, he spent a semester as visiting professor at Chubu University in Nagoya, Japan. As chairperson of the mechanical engineering department, he oversaw decades of growth and hired a diverse faculty.
Roy was a creative thinker who enjoyed tinkering and inventing things, and who kept learning throughout his life. He designed and built the Beechwood family home in Athens. Becoming a pilot in his 50s, he enjoyed flying his Grumman plane. A lifelong athlete, Roy celebrated a hole-in-one in golf, ran the Athens Marathon, played tennis and paddled an annual seven-mile kayak poker regatta into his 90s. On his 94th birthday, he was still walking two miles a day.
Throughout his life, Roy put energy into the communities in which he lived. Roy loved having colleagues, neighbors and friends gather for happy-hours and parties. He hosted international students in his home. In each place he lived throughout his life, he did volunteer work, often mentoring students. He was an active member of Kiwanis and Rotary, and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Roy is predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Dee Lawrence, with whom he retired to Palmetto, Florida, in 1995, while continuing their summer times in Athens, Ohio until her death in 2010. Roy is also predeceased by Marge Wright, his companion, with whom he resided in Sarasota, Florida and Elk Rapids, Michigan. He provided loving care for both women during their final years.
Roy is survived by his three children, Susan (Andy Cohen), Scott (Charlotte) and David (Melanie), along with fifteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many friends and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to these two charities, favorites of Roy's:  Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders. 
In celebration of Roy’s remarkable life, we invite you to join us at his memorial on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 1:00pm, at Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave, Sarasota. 
Here is the link to his official obituary: https://everloved.com/life-of/roy-lawrence/