Kristin Avery Gilliam Lawrence, age 67, of Alexandria, died November 27, 2022 following a long battle with breast cancer. Born in Washington, DC, she was the daughter of the late Walter Gilliam Jr. and Viola Ruth Volk.
Growing up in Springfield, VA, she was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School (now John R. Lewis HS) class of 1973. In 1979 she married Patrick Lawrence, whom she met while working together at the Harmony Hut record store. They had three children together. He passed away in 2015.
Kris received her teaching degree from Brigham Young University in 2012. Kris taught preschool and Elementary Special Education in New Jersey, California, Utah, and Virginia. She said, “I never had a day when I didn’t look forward to going into work to teach my students with autism and Intellectual disabilities.” She was loving and caring toward the children, just as she was to everyone she met.
Kris married Kim Nielsen in 2015. They enjoyed hiking and biking together. They completed a week-long bike tour in Italy and a trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Georgetown, Washington D.C. along the GAP rail trail and the C&O towpath.
Kris was thoughtful when listening to others and had a gentle kindness. She supported her children and cheered them on through all of their lives. She loved to buy books for the grandkids and left messages inside the cover for them. She never missed sending a card to her grandkids on holidays.
Kris volunteered and served others no matter her current life situation. She found those in need, listened to their struggles, and found ways to comfort them.
She loved watching sports, especially football and hockey. She was quite superstitious when it came to her teams. She insisted on wearing team gear even if the game was on TV.
Kris is survived by her husband Kim Nielsen, daughter Amy Lawrence; two sons, Kevin Lawrence (Kelsey), and Eric Lawrence (Courtney); six grandchildren, Annalise, Jonah, Maya, Daniel, Noah and Wesley Lawrence; and three siblings, Walter Gilliam III, Richard Gilliam, and Kimberly Gilliam, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, six stepchildren and 13 step- grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at the Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria, VA 22302. The funeral will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 11:30 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2810 King Street in Alexandria. A viewing will be held from 11:00-11:30.
The funeral can be viewed virtually:
Meeting ID: 950 5670 6844
In lieu of flowers, friends can donate to Casa Chirilagua, an organization helping underprivileged children, at casachirilagua.org.
The family encourages attendees to wear masks.
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