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April 18, 2021


Lawrence Elwyn Sylvest

January 27, 1926 - April 16, 2021

Lawrence Elwyn Sylvest, age 95 and a resident of Franklinton, died early Friday morning April 16, 2021 at his home. Lawrence was born January 27, 1926 in Alva, Florida, the oldest son of a sharecropper, before moving to Washington Parish during childhood. He joined the Merchant Marines at the age of 17 and proudly served his country during World War II. He was the chief engineer on a tanker that delivered aviation gasoline, often behind enemy lines. His later sailing career brought him to ports throughout the world, his favorites being Brazil and the Azores. Lawrence married Nell Fricke on July 23, 1949 and was happily married to the love of his life for nearly 72 years. He worked at Borden, Inc. for 12 years and operated a dairy farm for much of his life. He loved planting a garden each year then sharing his vegetables with family and neighbors and working in his flower beds. He joked that he liked to “grow it and give it away”. Lawrence always enjoyed splitting firewood, even in his last few years. He also enjoyed reading different types of books and novels. Lawrence was a longtime member of both Bethel Baptist Church and Hillcrest Baptist Church. He assisted in the construction of both church buildings and later served his church family as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon. Lawrence was blessed to raise 4 children that loved the Lord and he was a strong Christian witness to his extended family and all those he met. He was a blessing and mentor to so many during his life and he will be fondly remembered as a good Christian man that loved the Lord, his country and his family.

Survived by: Wife: Nell Fricke Sylvest of Franklinton; Son and Daughter in law: Lawrence Elwyn, Jr. “Larry” and Debbie Sylvest of Franklinton; Daughter: Kathy Lenora Sylvest of Franklinton; 8 Grandchildren and Spouses: Lawrence Elwyn, III “Tres” and Debra Sylvest, Jason Charles Sylvest and Erin Sylvest, Elizabeth and Derek Kennedy, Jeremy Devoy Hill, Jacob Alan Varnado, Jared Evan Varnado, Stuart and Marie Varnado, Kyle and Leslie Varnado; Great-grandchildren: Kirsten Sylvest, Ashlyn Sylvest, Amber Sylvest, Justin Sylvest, Emma Hill, Nora Sylvest, Kristina V. and Bradley Seal, Dylan Varnado, Mason Varnado, Madesyn Varnado, Morgan Varnado; 3 Great-great Grandchildren; Sister: Freda Welch of Franklinton; Sister in law: Jeanette Fisher Sylvest of Franklinton; Brother in law and Sister in law: Dudley and Helen Fricke of Baton Rouge; Also numerous beloved nieces, nephews and other family members

He was preceded in death by daughters Jeri Sylvest Hill, Ronda Nell Sylvest Varnado, parents Cluster Nehemiah Sylvest and Lucille Snyder Sylvest, brothers Billy Sylvest, Sammy Sylvest, brother and sister in law Joe Floyd and Ann Sylvest, brother in law Enoch Welch, brothers in law and sisters in law Pete and Sue Fricke, Fred and Fran Fricke, Ray and Boots Fricke, Martha and Osler Goss, sister in law Tessie Graham.

Visitation will be at Crain Funeral Home Sunday April 18th from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm and after 9:00 am Monday. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home chapel at 10:00 am Monday with Rev. Larry Archote and Dr. Gene Richards officiating. Burial will follow in the Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery.

Members of Washington Parish Fire District 2 will serve as pallbearers.

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