fireman 001_e
John Allen Lawrence
  • 52 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 4, 1960
  • Date of passing: Mar 14, 2013
Let the memory of John be with us forever

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, John Lawrence, 52, born on June 4, 1960 and passed away on March 14, 2013. We will remember him forever. We invite you to contribute stories and sentiments about John.

Please visit to see pictures from the Celebration of John's Life on March 24, 2013. 

To see a video of the California Fallen Firefighter Memorial, visit

John is recognized at 56:20 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by DEBBIE Snyder on 7th November 2017

"Missing you...."

This tribute was added by Joe Stillwell on 4th June 2017

"My good, close friend. We laughed our share, plus some."

This tribute was added by barry hasterok on 14th March 2017

"I really miss your humor and practical joking! It's been four years and it really hasn't gotten any easier to accept. Here's to a great friend that will be forever missed!!"

This tribute was added by Sara Lawrence on 14th March 2016

"Love you"

This tribute was added by Chris Lupo on 14th March 2016

"Remembering you, missing you.  Love, Bill and Chris"

This tribute was added by Kam Lawrence on 14th March 2016

"Not a day goes by that I don't miss you in our lives! I will love you forever!"

This tribute was added by Kam Lawrence on 19th June 2015

"This year's John A Lawrence Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Mr. Adrian Zavala Barragan. Adrian will be attending Palomar Jr. College to get a degree in fire science. He will take the classes needed to transfer to a 4 year university and go to the fire academy as soon as all classes are done.

Adrian has been an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, has played football all four years in high school, and was the recipient of the Jarred Landaker Leadership Award in his senior year.

About Adrian, Coach Walmsley says, “This young man is a scholar-athlete in every aspect of the term. He takes the mission at hand, whether in the classroom, on the field, or in the community, and dedicates himself to that task with the honor and due diligence that few young men his age are able to muster. His ability to overcome adversity and step up effectively into leadership positions is uncanny and inspiring, and I feel that many of us would be better served to follow his example.”

Thanks to all of you who donated to John's scholarship!"

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 6th June 2015

"You can now view the VIDEO that was shown at John's Celebration of Life.  Go the "Gallery" at the top of this page, click "Video" in the drop down menu.  It's the first video. "Remembering John""

This tribute was added by Bill Bennett on 4th June 2015

"Miss you Johnny Boy....Think of you often.... Happy B-Day Buddy!"

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 4th June 2015

"Thinking of you John, as I often do.  Happy Birthday, my friend.  I miss you."

This tribute was added by Jim Lawrence on 4th June 2015

"Heh Little Brother,
Missing you as much as always. Remembering all the good times on this day.

This tribute was added by Chris Lupo on 13th March 2015

"Such a great friend.  You will always be missed."

This tribute was added by barry hasterok on 12th March 2015

"Two years can fly by, but when it comes to remembering John, it's not so fast! I think about him almost daily! The loss is still undescribable. I am blessed to have known many people in my life, most of which I call friends. There have been a few that were truly very close friends. I am proud to call John one of my very best friends. I miss his quick wit and humor. John's family ALWAYS came first, and I so respected him for that. He knew so much about so many things. He was my go to guy for anything mechanical, especially relating to aviation. I could go on and on regarding the magnitude of loss, but it's so much more than just losing such a good friend. The world lost a great man, and I'm honored to call John my friend. I will hug you again some day buddy....that I'm sure of."

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 12th March 2015

"'Hard to believe it's been almost 2 years.  'Still thinking about you...'still missing were one of a kind, John.  Our hearts will forever hold a spot just for you.  (I'm sure you'd have some funny joke to say about that)."

This tribute was added by B Swift on 30th July 2014

"I'm shocked to hear of John's passing.  We worked on a project briefly in 2008 and he left such a lasting impression on me as a great colleague and very sharp guy so engaged in life that I felt compelled to google him and now very saddened to confirm the news.  May he rest in peace forever."

This tribute was added by Linda Stamer on 5th June 2014

"Happy Birthday John! You will forever be in the Stamer's hearts!"

This tribute was added by Patti Brook on 4th June 2014

"Happy Birthday John!!  Your memories still make me laugh and stories are still told!!"

This tribute was added by Sara Lawrence on 4th June 2014

"Wish you were here....."

This tribute was added by Chris Hutcherson on 4th June 2014

"Dude, this Courvoisier’s for you …. cheers!"

This tribute was added by Chris Lupo on 4th June 2014

"Happy birthday to our great friend.   Always remembered and in our hearts.  Bill and Chris"

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 4th June 2014

"Happy Birthday, John.  'Wish you were here to celebrate with us.  Love for you and your family, always."

This tribute was added by Phil Johnson on 18th March 2014

"I was at OCFA station 40 the other day and was talking to Jerry Leaper. He was retelling the story the John told me about taxiing past the guys standing in front of the the crash station in his plane and flipping them off. as he passed by. As karma would have it, his front tire went flat at the same moment. "The crash station is responsible for removing disabled aircraft", a couple of guys walked up to John as he was still sitting in his plane and said "well, well,well". John just put his head down in shame. The crew at the crash station gained a lot of weight after that because of all of the ice cream that John had to buy after that incident.

John, I think about you all of the time and miss you everyday. I especially miss the phone calls out of the blue and you saying "hey dude, just a social""

This tribute was added by Kam Lawrence on 17th March 2014

"In a few days, we will be scattering John's ashes over Big Bear Lake (from an airplane of course). Keeping John's ashes at home has been a comfort to me, but I'm ready to let him go to his final resting place. The kids and I also wanted a place where we could place a memorial stone that has a nice view of the lake, so we went for a hike to find the perfect location.

In classic John fashion (and knowing that the forest service would not approve), we did it on the down low. So it's a little off the beaten path. I had a closer destination in mind along the trail of Cougar Crest, but Hayden said, "Go big or go home." Hayden wanted to go to the top of the Bertha Peak, and since he was carrying the 15 pound rock, Ben and I concurred. It's a beautiful 3-4 hour hike, and if you want to visit it, you will feel close to John, especially when a plane flies over the lake. We also scattered a small amount of John's ashes near the rock - also on the DL. The rock is located in a small clearing with a view, to the left of the path, right before you reach the cell tower at the top of the peak. See photo album for pictures of location and view."

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 15th March 2014

"Still thinking of you...still missing you...still marveling at the strength of your family.  You are missed. Your legacy lives on in your boys.  They remind me so much of you."

This tribute was added by Patti Brook on 14th March 2014

"Thoughts are with you today my friend...wishing there were visiting hours in heaven...missing you always!"

This tribute was added by Chris Lupo on 14th March 2014

"Always in our  hearts"

This tribute was added by Sara Lawrence on 14th March 2014

"Thinking of you......"

This tribute was added by Jim Lawrence on 14th March 2014

"Thinking of you little brother. Today I'll be remembering all the good times we had."

This tribute was added by Lisa Stanley on 17th January 2014

"On a lighter note, I remember a particular evening when Kam, John, and I were cruising around Big Bear in his SUV (a Toyota, I think). The two of them were dating, and since Kam and I were colleagues and great friends during these years, we were practically inseparable.

John had a particular love for Turkey Bacon during this time, and although he loved it, it did not love him. Incessant belching would inevitably follow consumption, followed by a stench that could make whole villages evacuate.

So, this one evening, we're traveling in John's SUV, when suddenly, he belches at the top of his lungs. Within a half second, he shouts, "Oh, no. Turkey bacon!" He immediately starts rolling down his window. Panicked, Kam and I begin rolling down all of the care windows as quickly as possible to avoid the stench cloud that would have surely enveloped us without any means of escape. When the coast was clear (not to mention the air), I cannot remember laughing so hard."

This tribute was added by Lisa Stanley on 17th January 2014

"Kam and I met when we started teaching together at Big Bear Middle School. I remember when she first told me about John's niece, Samantha, wanting her to meet her uncle. She was a little unsure about meeting a student's family member for "dating" purposes, and I can remember her being very skeptical. She went on a few dates with John, and seemed to think that they were going well, but still hadn't quite been sold on the idea of dating a student's uncle. Then, one day, and I can't even remember how long it took, she just knew. All of her reservations had gone, and she knew that she had met the one. When I met John, I knew that he was completely smitten, and that, as they say, is how the story goes.

To say that it was an honor to be present at the wedding of two people so in love, is a gross understatement. I witnessed the beginning of the magic, and for that, I am eternally grateful."

This tribute was added by Kam Lawrence on 4th June 2013

"Happy Birthday, My Love!"

This tribute was added by Chris Hutcherson on 2nd June 2013

"Hey Guys, Put Your Hands Together for ... Bambi !

In a previous life I'm certain that John was a Strip Club DJ.  He had the dancer introduction down perfectly.  I must have heard it a 1000 times and laughed may ass off every time he did it.  I still hear it in my head and laugh, always will.  Thanks Merkin !"

This tribute was added by Julann Warren on 29th May 2013

"It's ordinary, everyday moments that remind me of John, such as every time I light my indoor grill in my range.  I think of the time that John came over to help me assess its safety now that the ignitor doesn't ignite anymore.  And recently when my battery died at football practice...he let me borrow his truck to get a new one.  I miss you, John. Always helpful and always made me laugh."

This tribute was added by Bob Coats on 22nd May 2013

"With John, it was never just one moment for me. Every time we worked together or just ran into one another he brought a smile to my face, at the very least! More likely a laugh and a smile as I walked away. His particular zest for life, his family, his career inspired me to be a better man, father, husband, fireman. John, thank you for making my world a more wonderous, exciting journey."

This tribute was added by Don Jalving on 22nd May 2013

"I have great memories of the times at medic school and at the El Torito in Anaheim.  The best memory of all was when I told John to check out a "problem" on the front of the engine that I couldn't see while seated behind the wheel. The look on his face when I blasted the horn in his ear was priceless!  Miss you my friend!"

This tribute was added by barry hasterok on 21st May 2013

"Once John thought it would be funny to lift the flap handle while I was on the wing, dumping me on the ground. He thought it was so funny that he did it again! Good times! I sure do miss you Buddy! You're one of a awesome friend and a firefighter's firefighter!"

This tribute was added by Jamie Pearson on 21st May 2013

"One day, when I was shopping at IKEA, a guy stole my (temporarily unattended) shopping cart.  He just took my lamp out and left it on a shelf.  I stalked him around trying to steal it back, but never got an opportunity.  When I told this story to John, he explained that in Southern California, this could have been handled by speaking a single word to the guy: "Dude".  He was totally right."

This tribute was added by Bill Bennett on 1st May 2013

"I'll never forget to time John flew me, Tom & Dan Utterback over to Catalina for buffalo burgers.  On the way back John was doing 360's... Tom and I were trying to smack each other (a guy thing) and were unable to because of the g-force.... We were laughing so hard the tears were flying...
Good Times!"

This tribute was added by Bill Bennett on 1st May 2013

"Since I'm from New Jersey and "had" a bad accent, John would always speak to me in Jersey... Hey whata ya doin - getoutahere - you talkin to me....  When I visited John in Mission Hospital the first thing out of his mouth was - you used to bust my chops --- with a Jersey accent!  I miss you buddy!"

This tribute was added by Bob Mazza on 31st March 2013

"John was one of handful of special people that you’re blessed to meet during your life.  I’m really sad to hear of his passing. He was a really good soul. I hadn’t seen John in several years but I look back fondly on the little time I was able to spend with him and Kam. I have a few wonderful memories of John that  always make me smile and laugh. God bless my friend."

This tribute was added by DON CHILDERS on 24th March 2013

"John always kept you on your toes, as you never knew what he would do or say next.  He was always joking, laughing with you or at you.  He was an awesome friend and brother.  Heaven is a better place now with their new addition to their family.  We all miss you dearly.  
Lots of love to John and his family, Don & Laura Childers"

This tribute was added by Linda Stamer on 22nd March 2013

"John once cooked the best shrimp dish we ever had in our very own kitchen.  He taught me how to back up a trailer. He taught Marc how to roast a pig! He did anything to make people smile and laugh. I will always remember how much he loved Kam and his boys.  Goodbye to a great person and friend. We love you John!"

This tribute was added by Shaun Miller on 22nd March 2013

"John you will be missed brother! A great fireman and man! Always willing to help and teach! Thanks for the memories. We will miss you. Rest in peace"

This tribute was added by Dan Deslauriers on 22nd March 2013

"When the firefighter position opened at Fire Station 42, I knew John was the right fit.  His quick wit and sense of humor definitely made going to work fun.  The time I spent working with John were some of the best years of my career.  We had many conversations about work, life, or if money was no object, which dream plane we would each buy.  I will miss him and see him again in Heaven."

This tribute was added by Patti Brook on 21st March 2013

"Reflecting back on John’s life he truly lived life to its fullest. What a zest for life he had & a delight to be around w/his sense of humor, his quick wit, his Dad’s clichés & life affirmations. I quote them in my life today & people often ask “where do you come up with this stuff”. His comedic timing was spot on!  We were good friends to the end. His memory will be forever in my heart."

This tribute was added by Pat Forrest on 21st March 2013

"Seeing John every other morning at Seal Beach FS44 for over 10 years and always knowing he would have something witty and clever to say.  His heart was solid gold, I don't think he had a mean bone in his body.  But he had plenty of funny-bones.  What a GREAT GUY.  What a sad loss for us all.  And especially his family.  My Condolences.  Pat Forrest"

This tribute was added by Mike Lind on 21st March 2013

"I recall an EMT class we were in. The instructor asked the question, "what is a precipitious birth". John responded, "it's a birth in the rain." John was the universal man. He was comfortable around all  regardless of stature. And he made all comfortable around him. John, you left way too soon, but left us with so much."

This tribute was added by bob bialobreski on 21st March 2013

"Rest in peace brother! A good man and fireman! Thank you for being so kind and genuine! You made being a new fireman less stressful! Nothing but good memories!!"

This tribute was added by Janine/Jim Bailey on 21st March 2013

"This a lovely tribute to a great firefighter and person.  So sad for the loss of such a great guy.  Peace to John's family."

This tribute was added by mike whalen on 21st March 2013

"John was always happy! He had a smile to greet me and a joke to make us laugh,  ready to go. I admired him for flying all the way to the Bahamas with Schmutz. That must have been some plane ride! Go with peace into the wild blue yonder my friend! Heaven must look a lot like the Bahamas."

This tribute was added by Chris Leonard on 21st March 2013

"The world is a better place because John was here, he will always be remembered as a guy with great stories and someone who would light up the room as soon as he came into it... Prayers everyday for your family to keep them strong and help them through this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Brad Manning on 20th March 2013

"John was truly one of the kindest and most enjoyable people to be around I’ve ever known.  He had such a wonderful way of making everyone around him laugh and feel at ease.  Kam I always appreciated the time you both spent including me in your gatherings and activities in Big Bear. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Ben and Hayden."

This tribute was added by Kelly Marzano on 19th March 2013

""John"  You were my "Study Buddy" in Mr. Osborne's class at Marina High School.  Even though dated Jerry for those years, you were one of my closest friends (I even remember the Baja Blacksheep Club)  My prayers go out to your wife and family! Your family was  always so kind to me.  Miss those Saturday breakfasts.  Chief Mike Moore contacted us I have always asked about you Kelly Klug XXOO"

This tribute was added by Gary Lee on 19th March 2013

"Kam & family, I met John in '79 at SAC Fire Academy..along with Owen, James, Shook,Genoway.  Great times, all destined to be FF's..drinking beer after at the Lampost Pizza and talking of our day's accomplishments...John once having to run to the top of the tower and sceam to the top of his lungs 'It's a salvage cover Sir'. We knew he would be a charismatic FF,now sorely missed.God Bless"

This tribute was added by Kathleen Stillwell on 19th March 2013

"Dear Friends, You are in our thoughts...we are saddened by the loss of an amazing man and friend. Mayy ou find comfort in the cherished memories you will hold in your hearts forever. I remember the love and joy of your beautiful wedding. John loved life and laughter. He will be missed by many. He is with you always, watching over you forever. With love, Joe & Kathy Stillwell xoxoxo"

This tribute was added by John Howlind on 19th March 2013

"I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I do think he lived a life that was an example for all....John lived his life with gusto, a personal sense of peace  and experienced the best of life ......what could be better than being a firefighter and aviator?  John met every challenge head on, with class, dignity and always a sense of humor. God bless amigo, see you on the other side."

This tribute was added by Craig Kinoshita on 19th March 2013

"John. You will be missed by all the men and women of the OCFA.  I will always cherish the memories of you during my first out of county strike team assignment with 1400C to SLU as a newly promoted battalion chief (Karl knows). Peace be with you my friend.  God bless. Kino"

This tribute was added by Chris Lupo on 18th March 2013

"Good-by to a wonderful friend.  You were a daily part of our lives for the many years you lived across the street from us.  Sassy greetings, funny stories, always caring and sharing.  You knew how to put a little sparkle into an ordinary day.  We will always miss you.  Love, Bill and Chris"

This tribute was added by Steve Chambers on 18th March 2013

"Met John just a few times, each was memorable.  Great guy; so sorry for his passing.   The Lawrence family is in my prayers."

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This memorial is administered by:

Kam Lawrence


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