Chief Lawrence T. Ethridge (Larry), 76, also affectionately known to family as Terry, passed on November 9, 2018. Larry was born in Rockford, Illinois to William and Mary (Gordon) Ethridge. He graduated from Rockford West High School in 1961, attended college and later joined the United States Air Force. After attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and receiving his Honorable Discharge, Larry obtained employment at Uniroyal Tire in Springfield, MA diligently rising to become their first African-American supervisor. He later moved to Georgia and in 1986 he married the lovely Karen (Rancifer) Ethridge who stood by his side until his homegoing.
He entered the criminal justice career field first employed with the Waycross Police Department for a highly decorated 23 years. Larry’s career spectrum included all aspects from a patrol officer, criminal investigator, SWAT team negotiator and retiring as a Sergeant in 2004.
In 2007, Larry was appointed Chief of Police of the Blackshear Police Department, becoming the first African-American in this prestigious position. In continuing his service to his community, 2013, he ran and was voted Waycross City Commissioner for District 2. Larry served his commission until 2017. Once retired, he devoted his time to his children, grandchildren and great-grands, Larry enjoyed watching investigative shows, westerns, going fishing, and riding his motorcycle. He was also a member of the 100 Black Men of Southeast Georgia and Composite Lodge #40. He was a member of Emmanuel International Cathedral of the Holy Spirit where he served on the usher board.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Ethridge and sister, Cathy Ethridge. Larry is survived by his wife, Karen Ethridge, sisters Cora Knott and Mary Gordon, and six children, Adrienne Ethridge of Youngstown, OH, Lawrence T. Ethridge II of McDonough, GA, Anthony Dickerson of Raleigh, NC, Nicole Russell (Cary) of Santa Clara, CA, Erin Harvey (Terence) of Waycross, GA, Denise Anderson (Gerald) of Macon, GA. His grandchildren, Christopher, Tierra, Milan, Camille, Tiffany, Aiesha, Tayvonne, Jasmine, Ashia, Daniel, Bryce, Anihya, Zavia, Amara, William, Jakai, Bryan, Terence II, Latice, Ronnie, and Gabriel; Four great grandchildren, Mekhi, Kevin Jr, Ava and London, along with a multitude of nieces and nephews including Chequella Sharper (Dexter), William Gordon (Tomyra), Regina Gordon, Winona Gordon, and Carmen Wilson (Jimmie). He held a special father figure relationship with Victoria Waters of Roswell, GA, Thomas Harris of Dublin, GA, Steven Ethridge of Park City, UT, Audra Webb (Clifford) of Rockford, IL. He leaves his mother-in-law, Vera Rancifer, brothers-in-law, Ronnie Rancifer (Pam), Colvin L. Rancifer II (Evelyn), Bertram Rancifer (Debra), Gregory Rancifer and sister-in-law, Schari Rancifer, all of Pensacola, Fl and many devoted friends.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Emmanuel International Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 600 Genoa Street, Waycross. The family is also receiving friends at the residence.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Central Baptist Church, 201 Ava Street, Waycross, Ben Smith, pastor. Bishop Michael-Angelo James, pastor of Emmanuel’s International Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, will deliver the eulogy.
Memorialization will be by cremation.
The cortège will assemble at the residence, 610 Lee Ave, Waycross at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.
Final and most sacred arrangements are entrusted to the professional care of Rainge Memorial Chapel, Inc.