Jim and Donna Lawrence, natives of New Jersey, made Seabrook Island their home five years ago for two reasons: the beaches and the wildlife. They are neither golfers or tennis players. He had enjoyed sailing and is a licensed Bareboat Captain. From childhood, each had spent plenty of time on the Jersey beaches.
Donna attended Boston University, but graduated from Stockton University with a degree in Literature/Language. For the greater part, she made a career as a volunteer for various organizations as well as raising one son. A major segment of her volunteer time was with the League of Women Voters where she produced publications, prepared grant requests, and served on County and State Boards of Directors.
Jim, who graduated from Boston College, also received an ROTC commission in the U. S. Army. Given an opportunity to select his preferred assignment station, in exchange for an additional year of active duty, he agreed and chose Germany. (Better than Asia.) This required another decision. As Donna put it: “We had to get married.” As he soldiered, she worked within the schools, including some teaching.
After service time, they returned to New Jersey where Jim had a long career in communications with various of the changing units of AT&T as that organization reacted to government actions and the changing telephone business — and this was before cells.
As a kid, Jim’s family adventures to the Jersey beaches put him in touch with shore birds, but they were not a serious interest. All shore birds were called sandpipers without any further definition. As adults, they expanded on his birding experience. Several vacations were also enjoyed on Seabrook Island starting about 1995.
Following Jim’s retirement, Seabrook was chosen as their new home (goodbye snow) and they moved here in 2012. The residence they selected on Wood Duck Place backs to the estuary which then extends to the egret rookery on Ocean Winds #4. With the water, extensive trees and shrubs, and their multipart bird feeders — seeds, suet, jelly, and hummer nectar — a wide variety of birds are attracted. From Hooded Merganser to Pileated Woodpecker (see Jim’s great photo) to White-throated Sparrow. Fantastic backyard!
He got immersed in Exchange Club, Vets on Deck, and SINGH in their new environment. Her LWV duties continued after their move, but as they wound down the two of them got involved with Turtle Patrol. In spite of all they were doing, neither could resist the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of a new proposed birding group. Donna, in particular, became part of a nine person committee which created Seabrook Island Birders in November 2015. She took on the duties of Hospitality. This involved the refreshment table at periodic member’s meetings as well as assuring SIB participation in various Island events such as SIPOA/Club annual meetings, 4th of July parade, Earth Day, etc. All with Jim as her #1 aide.
By the way, their picture, taken in front of the beautiful 2017 Christmas tree, includes a special ornament. Approximately on a level between their lips, hangs a Wood Duck.
Submitted by George Haskins