Risley Pomeroy Lawrence

risley lawrence

Risley Pomeroy Lawrence

Risley was born on August 5 th 1920, in Nashville, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ewing and Catharine Lawrence, and his wife of 74 years, Elizabeth Surles Lawrence. He is survived by his daughter, Wendall E Zerface (Wendy) and son Risley P. Lawrence Jr. (Rusty). Also, he is survived by his grandchildren, Lellyett Wentworth, Amanda Wentworth, Hamlin Ghee, Ian Lawrence, and Raef Lawrence, niece Toni Calabrese, nephew Chris Lawrence, and great grandchildren Risley Gannon, and Brooks Ghee.

He graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, Vanderbilt University and Rutgers Graduate School of Banking and worked continuously at Third National Bank while attending all three schools.

Upon graduation, he volunteered for the Navy and spent four years, of which he served 18 months in the South Pacific, commanding a landing craft until it was heavily damaged by a Japanese suicide boat off of Corregidor in 1945. For his bravery and quick thinking, he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his actions that saved both crew and ship. He continued in the Naval Reserve for the next 17 years.

After the war, he returned to Third National Bank where he continued for 46 years retiring as Executive Vice President. He was a member of Vine Street Christian Church since the age of nine and served as Chairman of the Board of Elders and Chairman of the General Board. He was the Treasurer and Trustee of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

His civic activities were immense. He spent most of his adult life serving this community. His leadership in many diverse areas has touched numerous lives:

Treasurer of the Girl Scouts Board of Directors

Treasurer of the Easter Seals

Treasurer of the American Red Cross Board of Directors

Vice Chair of the United Way Business Campaign

Chairman of Neighborhood Housing Services

Chairman of Senior Citizens Endowment Committee and received the Crowning Achievement
Award in 1996

Member of the Temporary Employment Committee of Park Center

Chairman of the Metropolitan Charitable Solicitations Board

Chairman of the Oak Hill Board of Zoning Appeals

Member of the Board of Commissioners of Oak Hill

Chairman of local fund raising for Vanderbilt University

President of the Sertoma Club

Treasurer of the Harpeth Hall Board of Directors

After his retirement from SunTrust in 1982, he and Elizabeth traveled extensively and enjoyed many vacations with friends in Vero Beach and Maine. He played tennis until he was 86 and enjoyed fishing and bridge with his friends.

Faith and religion learned from his maternal grandmother, (first name Mrs. John T Lellyett, were always of great importance in his life.

Risley Lawrence was a true community leader. But most importantly, he was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend to many.

Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.

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  1. I worked with Mr. Lawrence at Third Nat’l in the 70’s. He always had a big smile and was such a nice person!

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