Director, as he was affectionately called by his mentees, had been bedridden for several months trying to fight his way back to life until the cold hands of death snatched him away- the news that swept friends, family members and close associates off their feet that a giant has fallen. He will be remembered most for his uncompromising desire to impact knowledge and empower young people to fend for themselves.
The shock of his death elicited emotional and teary messages from his friends and those who got a gist of his brilliance. He passed on August 10, 2016 at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C., USA.
Boakai Jalieba, a schoolmate and close friend took to social media to write what would cause more grieves: “like a bird building a nest, we started bracing ourselves for the unthinkable- not without resentments though especially after he showed significant signs of thriving- by yoking the remaining energy left in his weakened body. For me, "shocked” isn't a word in my collection of words concerning Lawrence- he has been bedridden for five painful months and failed to say a word even after frantic attempts to whisper. He was alert-except for his defining moments- and would nod in approval. Lawrence organized a resistance movement to death and battled its cruel hands for many months. He defied predictions from medical experts and soldier on. He asked for prayers and it came pouring. But then, a Supreme Being, to whom we all bow, had other plans greater than ours... He took him away yesterday and left us to grieve.”
Molley Paasewe, the man credited for introducing the fallen media luminary to the inky fraternity could not hold back the tears as he wrote "It was 2000 or so, when you walked under the basement of Ecotech job-hunting as a very young pen pusher. Writing for Funtimes magazine was no match for cyber warfare, but the brilliance in your eyes justified my confidence. You came out shining after my vetting and Aunty Nana's gestapo-like interrogation of you. Almost 20 years down the road, we've worked together with the UN Mission, Government, did strategic communications for government and NGOs, fought, divided, reconciled, fought, reconciled and built institutions that will be your legacy. You empowered young men and women, opened spaces for the media and made aspiring journos and entrepreneurs find their niche. I showed you the way to push the pen, but in the end, I learned a lot from your inquisitive mind. You surpassed me in critical thinking and writing. But it made me prouder, to see a protégée soar the heights of academic excellence. I never told you this Togar, but even in death, you are matchless!"
Stephen Johnson, a former high school classmate, wrote “in 2011, you helped transformed our elections by introducing real time elections results. We found ourselves glued to your organization’s website as the political process unfolded. On a minute-by-minute basis, we became abreast of the voting trend and could easily make predictions. You were a genius PERSONIFIED! This was the first of its kind in our body politics. You later left and went on to establish your own consultancy firm and again, as expected, you became an exemplar of success.”
“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion, and to help others.
These you did so diligently. Your body carried a very gentle and selfless soul. That's why it's very hard for us to accept that you're no more. But again, we're consoled by the fact that God loves you best. You will truly be missed,” Patrick M’bayo wrote on his Facebook page.
Lawrence’s IQ and ability to simplify complex matter stand out tall among his peers. He was all but the best Liberia could boost of in the communication and media industry.
The fallen Liberian media development specialist was a product of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia; Executive Director of the Liberia Media Center where he groomed many media practitioners and provided equipment to institution to enhance their coverage of the 2011 elections; Managing Partner, E-Comsult Services; Senior Staff Writer, ECOTECH Internet Systems; Executive Director of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism National Secretariat- Liberia.
Authored the Following documents: Liberia: The Law and Practice of Journalism: 2011, Mapping the Absent Voices-An ActionAid Report- 2010, World Bank Opinion and Attitude Study-Liberia-2009, IREX SMS Operational Manual- 2010, Media Reach Penetration Study: Fostering Access to Information-2008, Media Development Assistance Strategy: Media Input for the Poverty Reduction Strategy-2008, Mass Communication Internship Handbook-2007. He is brainchild behind the establishment of the biggest media hub in Liberia- Matrix Media, Incorporated, the parent body of The Capitol Insider magazine, Capitol FM radio and The Capitol Times newspaper.
He leaves to mourn his wife Ralphlyn B. Randall, five children including Justin, Albert, Lawrencia Pell, Joshua and Lawrence Randall, Jr., as well as his foster children Abraham Williams and Patricia Davids.