Lucinda James Lawrence
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Lucinda James Lawrence
  • March 29, 1922 - December 2, 2017
  • Corning, California

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James Lucinda Clinkenbeard was born on March 29, 1922, the 8th child born to Muncie May Swafford and Benjamin Franklin Clinkenbeard. Born on her grandfather's birthday, she was named after James Madison Clinkenbeard, and her middle name came from her grandmother, Margaret Lucinda Pugh. The Clinkenbeards lived in rural Oklahoma, and Lucinda often recounted stories of her father and brothers working the land and hunting, while she, her mother, and sisters cooked, cleaned, and washed. By 1936, the Clinkenbeards had 15 children. Lucinda was 14 years old and remembered working an entire acre and not having enough cotton to weigh. The Dust Bowl, as the dry, drought-stricken area came to be called, forced many farmers to leave their land.
The Clinkenbeard family sold or gave away everything they had, bought a car, and drove for three days on route 66 from Oklahoma to California. They arrived in California in April, 1937, and set up camp similar to so many other farmers. Initially, the family picked potatoes and cotton in Bakersfield, then moved to Watsonville to pick berries.
In 1940, Lucinda moved to Los Angeles to help her sister Ruth, who was then married with two young children. It was there that she met George Winnett, a carpenter by trade. They dated for two months, and on October 10, 1940, they were married in Yuma, Arizona. Lucinda was 18 years old. Lucinda spoke fondly of early married life, recalling that they paid $15.00 a month to rent a furnished house. After two years of marriage, the couple welcomed their baby daughter, Dolores Ann. At this time, the US was at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor. George attempted to enlist in the army, but due to a severity of a heart condition, George was denied the honor of serving his country. The young family then moved to El Monte, California. Lucinda often spoke about the sacrifices during the war-time era.
Lucinda recalled that a significant change in her life occurred in 1944, when she and her husband began attending a full gospel church. They both gave their hearts to the Lord, became ordained ministers, and for the next 10 years, they built churches, pastored, held revival meetings, and evangelized.
In 1955, the family moved briefly to Kentucky but returned to Watsonville when George's heart condition worsened. He passed away on December 9, 1955. Lucinda was a 33-year-old widow with a 13-year-old daughter. Despite her grief, Lucinda continued evangelizing and pastoring. In 1960, her daughter married and went overseas with her new husband. In the same year, Lucinda married Glen Lawrence, a roofer by trade who had recently returned from a missions trip to Alaska. Glen had four children, Lamont, Glennette, Candy, and Robin, and though the children did not live with them full-time, Lucinda welcomed them into her life.
Over the next few years, Lucinda pastored in Fowler, San Francisco, and Willits. She and Glen eventually moved to Biggs and Santa Rosa, and they enjoyed spending time with their growing family of grandchildren. Her granddaughters remember peanut brittle making and quilting days at the church with grandma, and grandma preaching so vigorously that bobby pins would fly out. In 1984, Lucinda and Glen bought land in Rancho Tehama, retired, and began attending the Red Bluff Pentecostal Church of God.
In retirement, Lucinda continued to enjoy some of her favorite past times: painting landscapes, going on nature walks, embroidering, crocheting, gardening, canning, and playing dominoes. They grew a large garden in Rancho Tehama which kept them busy and allowed them to share the bounty with others. At church, Lucinda was involved with a Sunday school class and filled in occasionally at the pulpit for the pastor.
In 2005, after 44 years of marriage, Glen passed away. Despite her family members urging her to move closer to them, Lucinda determined to remain in Rancho Tehama, where she lived alone, maintained her home, and found comfort within the Red Bluff church community.
In March of 2017, Lucinda celebrated her 95th birthday and shared stories with the five generations of family that gathered. In August, her doctor informed her that she had a terminal illness. Lucinda comforted the physician, letting her know that she was ready to put her affairs in order. She called her family members to say her goodbyes and made preparations to leave this earth. She repeatedly stated that her work on earth was done, and that she was looking forward to seeing her Heavenly Father.
On December 2, 2017, Lucinda went to be with Lord. She is survived by daughter Dolores Myers, step-daughters Glennette Lawrence and Robin Montano, granddaughters Rebecca Caouette, Fawn Myers, and Karen Lee and step-grandchildren Monty Lawrence, Johnny Lawrence, Bradley Lawrence, Michelle Castellanos, Leon Castellanos, Erik and Stacy, sixteen great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Lucinda will be remembered for her strength, her faith, her humor, and her wisdom.