WARWAR, Laurence Azar, age 85, passed away peacefully on January 9, 2018. Laurence was born in Beirut, Lebanon and immigrated to the United States with her husband, Elias Warwar, and young family in 1954. She obtained a Master’s Degree from University of Dayton in counseling and education and was a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a Licensed Independent Social Worker. During her career, she worked in the emergency room at Miami Valley Hospital, outpatient clinics at St. Elizabeth Hospital, the Dayton Bureau of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the DWI Agency. She also taught at Sinclair Community College and Clark State. She did research for the Combined Health District and Wright State Medical School on adolescent health and suicide and it was published. Later she worked with the court system as an Arabic interpreter. Amazingly, Laurence never had to apply for a job.
Instead, her reputation caused others to seek her out and ask her to work. Laurence was active in the community throughout her life. Among her accomplishments, she co-founded and was past President of DAAF (Dayton Arab American Forum). She received the DAAF Volunteer Award (2015). She was also co-founder and past President of the Downtown Dayton Opti-Mrs. Club (Women Optimists) and past President of the World Federalist of Southwest Ohio.
Some people collect antiques, Laurence collected people. Her favorite saying in Arabic was “Aljana bidoun naas, ma btindaas” - “Heaven without people is not worth stepping in.” She would say “it is not what you have in your life, it is who do you have”. Her ability to engage people was a unique gift. She easily spoke to anyone, anywhere - the airplane, the store and wherever she went - and they would instantly become friends. They would call, they would email, and they would text. They were young, they were old, and they were from all walks of life. Friends would come to her kitchen counter, she would feed them and they would talk. She connected many people from many cultures and worlds together. She combined old country wisdom and hospitality with modern thoughts, behavior and presence. She was grateful and cherished all of her lifelong friends who became family.
Laurence was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who never stopped working and taking care of her family. She also took care of everyone else. She enjoyed cooking, entertaining, traveling, tennis, and learning. She had a great sense of humor, style and a magnetic personality. She believed that “whenever you lift someone up, you rise up.” She lived her life full of energy. She was a remarkable woman.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elias Warwar, in 2005. She is survived by two sons; Sam (Sherry) Warwar, Ronald Warwar, M.D., both of Oakwood; two daughters, Samia (William, D.D.S.) Borchers, M.D. of Oakwood, Mona (John) Mekus of Wilmington, DE; eight grandchildren, Ashley (Chuck), Rachel, Samantha, and Hannah Warwar, Christina Borchers, and Zachary, Lara, and John Mekus; one sister and one brother.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmont Park North, Dayton. Family will receive friends on Friday January 12 at Routsong Funeral Home, 81 North Main St. Centerville, from 4-7:00 p.m. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers friends may make contributions to the Dayton Foundation. Condolences may be sent to the family via the internet on www.routsong.com. The family would like to thank all of the physicians and staff for all of their care and concern and to thank the many friends for sharing their friendship, love and lives with Laurence.