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Benes R. Lawrence
April 8, 1940 ~ September 29, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
Benes Reginald Lawrence was born in Philadelphia, PA., on April 8, 1940 to the late Alfonso Lawrence and Margaret (Hall) Lawrence. He was the youngest of six children. His brothers, Alphonso, Leon and Charles and his sister, Janice all preceded him in death.
He was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System and joined the Naval Reserves. He soon transferred into the Air Force and served for 4 years. While in the Air Force, he served as a Fire Chief in Anchorage, AK. After an Honorary Discharge, he returned to Philadelphia to help his brother, Al run his Esso gas station.
In 1965, Benes joined the Philadelphia Police Department, where he served as a patrolman, Foot Traffic Officer, Civil Affairs Officer and Dignitary Protection Officer totaling 25 years. Also, in 1965, he met the love of his life, Andrea Brown of Charleston, SC, after her relocation to Philadelphia. They married on July 9,1966 in Charleston, SC and were married for 57 years. In March,1968, they welcomed their only daughter, Elaine Rochelle.
During his tenure with the Police Department, Benes attended Cheyney State College, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and graduating with High Honors in December, 1978.
Following his retirement from the Police Department, Benes worked as a Substitute Teacher and School Security Officer in the School District of Philadelphia. Many students named him, “Robocop” because he was always on patrol.
He then began his second career as a Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and was later named the Regional Manager until his retirement from the State.
Benes belonged to several organizations in Philadelphia. He was a 32nd Degree Mason in the Blue House and Consistory in Chester, PA. He was initiated into the Zeta Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., in 1978. He served as the Chapter Vice President and President and also as the Regional Area Dean of Pledges from 1986-1990. He served as the Vie President and President of Ye Olde Philadelphia Club obtaining Life Membership in both organizations. He served for 20 years on the Board of Selective Services for the Military.
Benes had a love for aviation! He, along with his friend, Charles Sawyer, got their Pilot’s License and together they would practice takeoff and landing at NE PHL Airport. He was instrumental in leading his granddaughter, Rochelle and others to become interested in flying.
Over the years, Benes’s mobility became a challenge but would still drive all over when needed. Many out of town friends and family would be given “the Nickel Tour” of Philadelphia. His love and knowledge of the history of Philadelphia enhanced the tour.
Benes leaves to cherish his memory: his beloved wife, Andrea; daughter, Elaine Rochelle Lawrence-Green and son-in-law Lawrence E. Green, Sr.; grandchildren, Rochelle Alexis Green and Lawrence Green, Jr.; sister, Joyce Lawrence Peace; sister-in-law, Bette Lawrence; brother-in-law, Louis Sweat; loving nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews; adopted family, Ann Curtiss King, Joseph and David Curtiss; and a host of family and close friends.