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“As I reflect on my son, I see him as a good guy…one that did all the right things. He worked himself through college, served his country with the navy, worked for the railroad. “—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Lawrence Tolliver III was born on Mar. 3, 1972 in Los Angeles, CA. He was the second child born to Lawrence Tolliver Jr. and Sandra James Tolliver.
Tolliver was very athletic and participated in many sports activities. He played baseball throughout his education, from little league to high school.
He received his education from St. Raphael School, Juniper Serra High School and graduated from Westchester High School. After graduation, Tolliver attended junior college before transferring to Cal State L.A. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Communications. Tolliver would also meet his future wife in the form of Kimberly Pitters. Searching for a job led Tolliver to the United States Navy and soon after, he would propose to Pitters.
“My son was fun-loving…one who enjoyed being around people…I enjoyed being around him.”—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
The young couple was married on Aug. 18, 2001 in Chicago Illinois; not long after Tolliver finished basic training. They eventually moved to Jacksonville, Florida stationed at Naval Station Mayport. He was assigned to the USS Samuel B. Roberts. While in the navy Tolliver served for four year as an Information Systems Technician, earning the rank of E5. He would later be honorably discharged with many ribbons and metals, which included, the Global War on Terrorism Medal. The Tollivers’ would relocate to Houston, Texas in 2005.
Tolliver worked at the Union Pacific Railroad as a train conductor for a while. He then joined the Houston Police Department in 2007. Unfortunately, it was during training at the police academy when Tolliver learned he had a brain tumor. This turn of events led to a 3 ½ year fight against brain cancer with 2 brain surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments.
“He never lost his sense of humor and it was remarkable that he could do that, going through all of this struggle. In the end, it looked like he was relieved and to this day I don’t fear death because I can see how it was a transition.”—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Even though his fight with cancer took him out of the Houston Police Department, it didn’t take him out of life. He found his second wind working at Specs Liquor Warehouse. Tolliver loved beer, knew beer and could tell you all about beer. He had found passion in something he really loved…beer.
“He was a connoisseur of beer and he also loved the Twilight Zone. For Christmas, I sent him the whole 156 episodes [of The Twilight Zone]. He would say something like, ‘I don’t know why you sent me this, I ain’t goin’ to look at it.’ That’s the personality he had.”—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Aside from loving beer, Tolliver also loved physical activity. He liked working out and body building. He had been training since Junior High, which also led him to work as a personal trainer. As a cancer survivor, Tolliver worked with cancer patients with rehabilitation. He found joy and meaning in helping others fight cancer.
“He found that he could be a personal trainer, a certified personal trainer. In that aspect he loved the gym and he loved working with people, especially those who were fighting cancer the way he was…”—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Some of the fond memories many have about Tolliver were his unique sense of humor and his many hobbies. He liked Golf, Tennis, Video Games, the Twilight Zone, a variety of music eating good food and, of course, beer. Most of all, he enjoyed being with his family and friends. Tolliver missed spending time with his father at his barbershop in Los Angeles.
“By him being bed ridden, his hair grew out, his beard had grew out. When they shipped him here, I didn’t know if I could do it. His wife and my wife just got off the airplane and they wanted to see him. I went with them to Angeles [Funeral Home].
They looked at him, they said how peaceful he looked…they were so pleased with the calmness, at that point, I knew I could then, make him look like what he used to. My requirement was for him to be presented to his wife the way she remembered him. I went and cut his hair…and trimmed his beard the way she wanted it. “—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Lawrence Tolliver will forever be remembered as kind, loving, devoted, thoughtful, courageous and honest. Though he was here for a short time, he was a blessing to all that knew him. He was called on to glory March 24, 2011.
“I was very pleased with him as being an upstanding person that didn’t let this take away who he was…he had cancer, but cancer didn’t change Lawrence—he was still Lawrence.”—Lawrence Tolliver Jr.
Lawrence’s legacy lives on through his loving and devoted wife, Kimberly Danielle Tolliver; father and “Ma B,” Lawrence Tolliver Jr. and Bernadette Tolliver; mother, Sandra James Tolliver; mother-in-law, Phyllis Pitters “Ma Pitters;” brothers, Aaron Tolliver and Bernard “Tony” Tolliver; sisters, Alexandra Tolliver and Toya Tolliver; sisters-in-law, Cynthia Williams, Joanne Pitters, and Marcia Tolliver; bothers-in-law, Michael Pitters and Greg Williams; nieces, Sandy Webb, Shanel Tolliver, Cindy Tolliver, and Kalin Edwards; nephews, Jacob Allen, Cameron Hilaire, and Kade Edwards; aunt, Annie Tolliver; and an abundance of other relatives and friends.