Clarence ‘Jitts’ Lawrence
July 7, 1928 – March 9 2014
Clarence “Jitts” Lawrence passed away March 9, 2014, at the age of 85 years. Jitts was born in Waukesha on July 7, 1928, the son of Clarence and Lillian Lawrence.
Jitts grew up in Waukesha and graduated from Waukesha High School in 1946, where he played basketball, football and baseball. In 1946, Jitts signed a contract to pitch for the Chicago Cubs and he played in the Cubs organization for five years. Jitts was drafted by the Army on his wedding day, November 4, 1950, when he married JoAn Mickle. The couple celebrated their 63rd anniversary this past November. After his tour of duty in the Army, Jitts worked for the city of Waukesha Parks & Recreation Department for 17 years. Jitts held the position of city forester for a time and then retired as the superintendent of recreation. Jitts later worked as the county park manager at Naga-waukee Park.
Jitts was an outstanding athlete and played baseball in the Land ’o Lakes league for many years. He was inducted into the Land ’o Lakes Hall of Fame in 1992. Jitts officiated high school and college football games and was a founding member of the Lakeland Officials’ Association. He was recognized by the Lakeland Association as a honorary member, acknowledging his significant contributions and his many years of outstanding efforts to promote sportsmanship.
When Jitts finally retired, he assisted JoAn doing volunteer work for the Salvation Army and delivered Meals on Wheels for 18 years and was active in various capacities at their church, the Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ in Waukesha. His work in the community was a big part of his life as well as rooting for his beloved Chicago Cubs.
Jitts is survived by his wife of 63 years, JoAn (nee Mickle), and by children Lindy (Steven) Whiting of Camden, Tenn., and Larry (Sherry) Lawrence of Waukesha. He is also survived by grandson Alex Lawrence and brother Gerrit (Carol) Lawrence of Woodstock, Ga. Jitts is further survived by sister-inlaw Alice “Trixie” Lawrence and by other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lillian and Clarence; brothers Paul and Ray (Hilda); and sister Jean (Joe) Bigg.
A memorial gathering for Jitts will be held on Sunday, April 6, from 1 PM to 4 PM at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 Bluemound Road (at highways J and JJ, four blocks south of Interstate 94), Waukesha, with a memorial service at 4 PM. Burial of cremated remains will be held at Prairie Home Cemetery at a later date.
If desired, memorials to the Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ Church in Waukesha would be appreciated.
Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 827-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions. To receive this obit, text 1353116 to 414-301-6422.