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After a long and valiant fight, our warrior is now at rest. Dr. Lawrence Richard Shillingburg, Jr., 84, of Weston, West Virginia was born in Columbus, Ohio to Josephine and Lawrence Shillingburg, Sr. on September 10, 1939. He entered into the arms of his Savior on Saturday, January 27, 2024.
Born to Deaf parents, he was proud to be a child of deaf adults (CODA), and so American Sign Language was his first language. He was pro Deaf.
A member of the 1958 Graduating Class of Asheville High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy that same year and proudly served 4 years for the country he loved until he was honorably discharged.
In 1973, Lawrence gave his life to Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. Shortly after, God called him into the ministry. He was a missionary/evangelist to the Deaf for over 50 years. He received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Freelandia Bible College in Virginia and earned a Doctor of Religious Education from Bible Baptist College in North Carolina. He traveled all over the United States and the Caribbean Islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, and Granada sharing the Gospel of Jesus with Deaf people. He also taught American Sign Language in many Christian Schools and Colleges. He loved serving His Lord and counted it a privilege to be used of God to introduce many Deaf to the One who loves them SO and gave His life for them so they too could be with Jesus in Glory.
He was preceded in death by his parents Lawrence R. Shillingburg, Sr. and Josephine (Meadows) Shillingburg, his first wife of 50 years, Doris (Canaday) Shillingburg, and his son, Darrell Bryant.
Lawrence found love again and married Kathleen L. Waters on September 9, 2017. She joined him in Talking Hands Deaf Ministry. Together, they traveled alongside one another and shared the love of Jesus. He was Kathleen’s devoted husband, best friend and fierce protector.
Kathleen mourns his death along with his sister, Ruby Disbennett (Rod), his children Elizabeth Milgliarease (Buck), Nancy Mashburn, Donna Wells (Gene), Brenda Diley (Larry) and William Waters, his niece, Kristina Webb (Jerry) and nephew, Brian Claypool (Nad) and many other extended family. Lawrence and Kathleen together have 25 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren including a baby boy due in July.
Lawrence always had a song in his heart. His favorite hymns were “It is Well!” and “What a Day That Will Be!” He would sing sweet songs to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of his favorites were, “That’s How Much I Love You”, by Eddy Arnold, and “A Bushel and A Peck”, by Doris Day.
He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. The Ohio State Buckeyes were his college football team; he also cheered for the Kansas City Chiefs, but he loved people more than all of that. He would share the Good News of the Gospel with them. Sharing Jesus and His love for people was his heartbeat. He would ask, “Are you saved?” and if you didn’t know, he would gladly share with you how you could know, without a doubt, that you were on your way to Heaven.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Bible Baptist Temple, 9436 Cost Avenue, Stonewood, WV 26301 on Thursday, February 1, 2024 with visitation starting at 11:00 then the service following. Pastor Charles Madus, Pastor Scott Crabtree and Pastor Fred Adams will be officiating. An additional celebration of Life service will be held at 4:30 P.M. on Friday February 2, 2024 at Beth Haven Baptist Church, Denver, NC. The family will greet guests from 3:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Friday also at the Church.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11am at Forest Lawn West Cemetery, 4601 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208 with full military honors. Pastor Fred Adams and Pastor David Mims will be officiating.
Hardman Family Funeral Home of Weston, WV and Woodlawn Funeral Home of Mount Holly, NC have been entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Dr. Lawrence R. Shillingburg, Jr. Vision Fund to further his legacy and help young men continue their education to reach the Deaf of the world for Jesus.
Donations can be made payable to:
Dr. Lawrence R. Shillingburg, Jr
PO Box 732
Weston, West Virginia 26452