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Loyd Rawls

Memorial Service: 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 21, 2024

Location: St. Mark Lutheran Church

Visitation: Following the Service

Location: St. Mark Lutheran Church

Loyd Rawls passed away peacefully in the early morning of January 12, 2024, at the home where he had lived for over 40 years.  He was 74 years old.

Loyd was born in Newport News to Marion W. Rawls and his wife, Doris Harrison Rawls.  He was educated at Riverside Elementary School, Ferguson High School, and the College of William and Mary.  While at William and Mary, he met his wife of 52 years, JoAnne Todd Rawls.  The two shared a lifelong love of music and choral singing, as well as interests in contract bridge and photography.

Loyd’s degree was in Education, and he began his post-collegiate career as an elementary teacher in York County.  While there, he felt called to enroll in the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Seminary.  The couple journeyed to Texas, where neither was able to find work to support his further education.  Loyd was soon hired as a trainer/writer for an insurance company.

The Rawls family moved from Texas to Wisconsin to Missouri for various positions in the insurance industry.  They then moved back to Newport News, taking their three sons with them, each one born in a different Midwestern state. Insurance was a changing industry by the late 1980s, and the family struggled. Finally Loyd realized that his every position in the business world involved teaching to some extent.  So, with a gap of 27 years between his first and second year of teaching, Loyd began working his way back into the schools, first as a substitute teacher and then when he obtained his endorsement in Gifted Education from William and Mary, as a member of the Gifted Resource team for Newport News Public Schools.   In the 2004-05 school year, Loyd was hired as the Search Teacher at the new Smithfield Middle School.  He finished his career there, in a teaching position he loved, working with students whom he taught to use critical thinking skills. For several years he directed a four-county Governor’s School for Gifted in the summers.  In 2015, he retired from teaching because of his health.

Loyd and JoAnne were members of several local churches over the years, always singing in the church choirs.  Some of these churches were Hampton Baptist, North Riverside Baptist, Trinity Lutheran, and St. Mark Lutheran.  Loyd’s strong bass voice was an asset to the choir wherever they sang.  Another interest was contract bridge.  Loyd taught JoAnne to play in college, but it was not until they found partners at Hampton Baptist that a regular game began with friends Jim and Judy North.  They played once a week for over 30 years, until the COVID pandemic forced a halt.  Loyd was also an excellent photographer who shared his knowledge with JoAnne.  In later years, he considered it his job to support JoAnne in her photography, suggesting better cameras periodically after much research, and thinking of new and different places to practice her art.  Theirs was a marriage of true partners.

Loyd was predeceased by a son, Richard Gordon Rawls; and his parents, Marion and Doris Rawls.  He is survived by three sons, Gordon Rawls (wife, Amy), of Midlothian, VA; Thomas Rawls (wife, Cara), also of Midlothian; and William Rawls (wife, Lisa), of Falls Church, VA; five grandchildren, Kathleen, Ian, Emma, Laura Jo, and Henry; a brother, Larry Rawls, of Moab, UT; and a sister, Marcia Willis (husband, Sam), of Tallahassee, FL.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Yorktown, VA, at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, 2024.  A visitation with the family is planned in the Narthex after the service.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Music Program of St. Mark Lutheran Church. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.

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#2 Sylvia Lotz Turner 2024-01-20 21:50
My deepest sympathy to the Rawls family. I knew Loyd through North Riverside Baptist Church and by graduating with him from Ferguson High School. I am glad to know he lived a full life and had such a loving family. I pray God's comfort and peace on all of you.
#1 Keith Rowe 2024-01-15 21:26
My sympathy to the Rawls family. I remember Lloyd well as he help me with math at Ferguson. My prayers to all. Ez6n7

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