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Friday, September 15, 2023
Starts at 10:00am (Pacific time)
Friday, September 15, 2023
Starts at 10:30am (Pacific time)
Lawrence Gabriel Renzi passed away peacefully on September 8, 2023. Lawrence led an active and healthy life for ninety-eight years, and his mind was sharp until the end of his life. A week before his passing, he received the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Anointing of the Sick from Msgr. Perry Kavookjian. Lawrence was prepared to go to heaven.
Lawrence was born at home on April 7, 1925, in Visalia, California. His parents were Ida and Pasquale Renzi. Ida was of Italian heritage and a native of New York State, and Pasquale was an Italian immigrant from Dugenta, Italy. Lawrence attended George McCann Memorial Catholic School, Visalia Union High School, Visalia Junior College, and Navy Midshipman School at the University of Notre Dame. Lawrence served his country as a naval officer during WWII from 1943 to 1946 on Landing Ship Tank 985 in the Pacific Ocean. His rank was ensign, and he commanded two LCVP landing crafts.
When he returned home from the war, Lawrence attended pharmacy school at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1946 to 1949. After graduation and passing the pharmacy board bar exam, he returned home and worked at a pharmacy in Woodlake and at Main Drugs in Visalia. In 1952, he received a call from an old navy friend, Richard Bennett, who convinced him to move to Bakersfield and work for the El Tejon Pharmacy in the Haberfelde Building on 17th Street and Chester Avenue. After working at El Tejon for two years, he went to work for Rufener’s Drug Store on Alta Vista Drive and at Rufener’s Drug Store in Lamont. In 1963, he became part owner of Kimball and Stone Pharmacy in Bakersfield. There were two locations in Bakersfield. The main location, where he spent most of his time working, was located at 25th and G Street. The other location was on Baker Street in East Bakersfield. Many of his customers loved the drive-up window at his store on G Street because it was convenient and easy to pick up medicine. Mothers with sick children especially liked his drive-up service. Lawrence maintained his ownership in Kimball and Stone Pharmacy until 1998. From 1998 to 2010, Lawrence worked alongside longtime friend, Leo Tobias, at Dale Taylor’s Mercy Plaza Pharmacy. Lawrence was a dedicated and caring pharmacist for over sixty-one years.
As a devoted Catholic, Lawrence attended Catholic events outside of the weekly mass schedule. During a Saint Francis Catholic Social Club meeting, Lawrence met Natalie Lorenzi, and the two began dating. They were married at Saint Joseph Catholic Church on February 20, 1955, and they had three children: Lori, Tina, and Michael. Natalie and Lawrence provided their children with a Catholic education and upbringing.
During his life, Lawrence was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Italian Catholic Federation, the Italian Dante Association, and the Kern County Pharmacist Association. Lawrence was also a fan of the Garces Rams, USC Trojans, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Yankees. He supported Bakersfield Junior College football and Cal State Bakersfield basketball by attending many games with his friends Dave Fanucchi and Bob McClure.
Lawrence was self-sufficient for many years after retirement. He enjoyed daily walks with friends at the Centennial Park dog-park and bi-weekly shopping trips to Vons and Smart and Final. He made many friends at both stores and enjoyed seeing his favorite Vons checkers: Don, Cheryl, Carlos, Troy, Shannon, Jennifer, Monica, and Leticia.
Lawrence moved from our family home of over fifty-one years on Charter Oaks Avenue to Nana’s Care home for the elderly on September 5, 2022. He made a seamless transition from independent living to assisted living. He spent the last year of his life in a wonderful and caring home surrounded by awesome caregivers who treated him like gold. We are truly grateful to his friends and caregivers at Nana’s Care.
Lawrence was a kind and generous man. He never wanted to be put first, and he was always willing to wait until others were served or cared for before him. He always said he was so lucky to meet Natalie and to be welcomed into the Lorenzi family. He truly enjoyed all of Natalie’s relatives and friends he met through his marriage to her. His nieces and nephews referred to him as “Uncle Larry” and to Natalie as “Aunt Dutchie.”
Lawrence was preceded in death by his father Pasquale, his sister Marian, his mother Ida, his beloved wife Natalie, and his daughter Tina. He is survived by his daughter Lori and her husband John Hale, his son Michael and his wife Tammy, his grandson Stephen Hale and his wife Molly, his grandsons Kevin Hale, Joseph Renzi, and Matthew Renzi, and by his great-granddaughter Nora Hale. He is also survived by his nephew Gary Uhalt and wife Jane, niece Adriene Smoot, niece Michelle Pearl, niece Germain Jacobs, nephew Steve Eyherabide, and niece Bernadette Root.
Our family friend Laticia Delcid was like a niece to Lawrence. After Tina’s passing in 2012, Laticia visited Lawrence weekly and called daily to check in on him. He enjoyed Laticia’s company, and we thank Laticia for her love and compassion for Lawrence.
Carmen Hernandez and her daughter Brenda helped keep Lawrence’s house clean for over thirty years. Lawrence thought the most of both Carmen and Brenda. Also, Willie Tapia cared for Lawrence’s yard for over thirty years. Lawrence appreciated all of Willie’s hard work. We are grateful to Carmen, Brenda, and Willie for all their help.
One of Larry’s favorite sayings was, “you’re the greatest”. Well, Dad, you are definitely the greatest to all of us. God bless you Nono and thank you for all you did for us. We appreciate you.
Services will be held on Friday September 15, 2023—Rosary at 10:00 am and Funeral Mass at 10:30 am. Services will be held at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 12300 Reina Road. Bakersfield, CA. Burial with Naval Honor Guard will be held at the Historic Union Cemetery, 730 E. Potomac Avenue. Bakersfield, CA.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Lawrence to Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church or to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.