Mr. Lawrence S. Gerst peacefully transitioned into eternal rest on Saturday, September 16, 2023, in Jupiter Medical Center, Jupiter, FL. Lawrence was the second oldest son born to the late Bessie and Lisbon Gerst of Williamsburg, Virginia.
Lawrence joined First Baptist Church, Williamsburg at an early age where he was a faithful member of the Choir. After relocating to Rochester, NY he joined Mt. Olivet Baptist Church where he continued to sing in the Choir. After returning to Williamsburg, he once again joined the Senior Choir at First Baptist Church. He loved music of all genres (e.g., gospel, classical, as well as jazz).
Lawrence graduated from Bruton Heights School in 1953. He continued his education at West Virginia State College (WVSC), now West Virginia State University, where he received a B.A. in Art Education. While at WVSC he joined the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. He later went on to receive his M.A. in Art Education from Rochester Institute of Technology. Lawrence began his teaching career in York County, VA after honorably serving two years in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He then relocated to Rochester, NY where he taught art for more than thirty years. After retirement, he returned home to Williamsburg, VA.
Throughout the years, Lawrence participated in numerous art shows. He was particularly proud of the fact that he provided artwork for the first Duke of Gloucester Street Art Show held in Williamsburg, VA. Also, on display at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Rochester, NY is the Ark of the Covenant which he built and donated to the church.
Lawrence was preceded in death by his brothers, Wilbur Gerst and Arden Gerst, and his sister, Jean Gerst Stewart. He leaves to cherish precious memories his wife of fifty-nine years, Joan; son, Darrin (Cassandra); grandson, Ethan of Jupiter, FL; nieces, Lisa Gerst of Rochester, NY, and Paula Applewhite (Wayne), of Newport News, VA; nephew, Stephen Gerst, of Rochester, NY, and Victor Stewart, of Williamsburg, VA; great-nephew, Lafayette Gerst (Whitney) of Charlotte, NC; two great-nieces, Angie Harris and Kira Nelson (William), both of Los Angeles, CA; three great-great-nieces; one great-great-nephew; and a host of other family and friends.
A service to celebrate Lawrence’s life will be held at noon, Saturday, September 30, 2023, at the Historic First Baptist Church with Dr. James Palmer Jr. officiating, and Dr. Reginald F. Davis Sr. eulogist. Interment with military honors to follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery. Mr. Gerst may be viewed in the church beginning at 11 a.m. until the hour of his service on Saturday.