KANSAS - Lawerence David Hallum, age 89, of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries in Kansas, Oklahoma, died in Springdale, Arkansas March 7, 2009. He was born January 4, 1920 in Clarksville, Arkansas, the third child and only son of eight children. His parents were John Virgil Hallum and Essie Beeler (Willis). He was preceded in death by three sisters, Lola Virginia, Hazel Laurette and Elsie Emmaline, and is mourned by four younger sisters: Anna Lee, Jessie L., Joye Bell and Carrie Willie Aredia.
The family was desperately poor, hit hard by the Great Depression, and Lawerence was doing a grown manís work at the age of 10 to help support the family. He suffered from malnutrition and had a bleeding ulcer by age 16. In spite of many absences he loved school and graduated from the eighth grade.
At age 18 he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Roosevelt Works Projects program, and was stationed at Devilís Tower, Wyoming. Because of a stomach ulcer he was rejected for Military service when he volunteered to serve with his relatives and friends during World War 2. His family had settled near Pawnee, Oklahoma. After his time in the CCC he returned home to find work wherever he could. He met Nora Ellen Rountree at a farmhouse dance and decided to pursue her, although she was engaged to someone else. His successful suit was culminated in their marriage before the Justice of the Peace on May 25, 1940.
Lawerence was a hard worker and always provided well for his family. The specter of poverty and hunger followed him throughout his life. He had a lifelong love for automobiles. He became a Christian in 1947 and, never one to do a thing halfway, in January of 1948 he was off to Midwest Christian College in Oklahoma City to learn how to preach. He graduated in the spring of 1951; however, because of skipping high school he received a blank diploma. He was awarded an honorary Bachelorís Degree many years later by Ozark Christian College.
Lawerence and Ellen had three natural children, Patricia, Awynne, and David, and
countless foster children. Lawerence was preceded in death by Patty and David, and is survived by Awynne.
In January 1961 the Hallums left a successful ministry at Forest Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City to take the helm of Cookson Hills Christian Ministries, a struggling childrenís home in the hills of Northeast Oklahoma. His own childhood gave Lawerence a heart for children in need. The rest of his working life and into retirement years he was committed to Cookson Hills. He traveled many thousands of miles promoting the ministry he loved and lived.
In his last years he was robbed of memory and finally of life by the onset of Alzheimerís disease.
†He is survived by his one love and lifelong companion, Nora Ellen, his daughter, Awynne Thurstenson of Siloam Springs, AR, many grandchildren, great-grand children, foster children and friends.
†Funeral Services will be Thursday March 12, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at Community Christian Fellowship of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.† Memorials may be sent to the Hallum Strategic Fund, Cookson Hills Christian Ministries, Rt 3 Box 200, Kansas, OK 74347. Arrangements are under the direction of Wasson Funeral Home of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.