Lafayette Norwood
1934 - 2021
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Private family services for Lafayette Norwood, 86, Lawrence, will be broadcast at at 2 pm, on Monday, January 11, 2021.

A celebration of his life will happen when friends and extended family can attend.

Lafayette Norwood was born September 12, 1934 in Clearview, OK. He was the second child of Bernice and Evalue (Chatman) Norwood. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 12. He united with Ninth Street Baptist Church after moving to Lawrence in 1977. He followed with becoming a charter member of Victory Bible Church from 1983 until his Homegoing, serving as church treasurer until January, 2000.

At an early age and continuing throughout his adult life, Lafayette embraced a strong awareness of the power of giving of self, being blessed with a strong Christian father and mother who taught him that the "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1:17) and that he should give God the glory in all that he did. It was from these kinds of teachings that the framework, designing, and planning of his entire life took shape, realizing that it was not his will but God's will that would be done.

After graduating from Wichita East High School he attended Arkansas City (now Cowley County) Junior College, where he met and married the former Betty Ann White. He then completed his degree at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS, followed by a Master's Degree at Wichita State. Lafayette and Betty, who died in May, 2010 had four children. Daughters Fayetta and Sherri Lynn preceded him in death. His son Seth died in May, 2011. He is survived by his son, Cory. He is also survived by his wife Patricia; grandchildren, Alexius, Akeshia, Ashlyn, and Janae; brother Gerald; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives, and friends.

Lafayette taught and coached in the Wichita school system for 18 years before accepting the position of assistant basketball coach at the University of Kansas in 1977, under head coach Ted Owens. Following four years at KU he accepted the head coaching position at Johnson County Community College. During Summers he coached Middle School and High School Boys AAU basketball teams throughout metropolitan Kansas City. Nurturing a positive, family unit was the emphasis of his daily life, having learned that a true love of God makes love for family and natural experience.

He would like to issue this challenge: To please God you must serve him with all your heart, mind, and soul. He would wish that all young and old would use this moment of reflection to make sure you put God first and in "all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Lafayette truly believed that this understanding was the foundation of his life, which we celebrate today. If you feel he touched your life in some way and you enjoyed being a part of his, keep him alive by giving to others, and he will live forever.

The family suggests donations to the Norwood Childrens Educational Fund as a memorial to Lafayette's love of family and education. Memorials sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence, KS, 66044.

Online condolences made at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Jan. 10, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
January 13, 2021
I WILL MISS YOU COACH NORWOOD!!!!!!! I got to speak with him recently, and I am thankful for that!!! I made sure to tell him for the umpteenth time how much I loved and appreciated him for coming to my home and convincing this 17 year old African-American kid that It was possible for someone like me to go to college and even lace up my sneakers and compete in a sport that I had grown to love. He was a great teacher, coach and one hell of a man. I am saddened by his passing but know that he will live on in the great many people that he interacted with as a friend or mentor. Thanks Coach....see you when I get there!!!!
January 13, 2021
Coach Norwood was my coach in 9 th grade at Roosevelt Jr High and then later at East High in basketball. He was one of the coaches and persons I have ever met and he was a role model. I know his brother Gerald, also met him at basketball practice in 9 th grade. He never forgot me after all those years and neither did I, him. I could go on and on. My prayers are with all the Norwood family!
Gary Curmode
1966 Roosevelt Jr High
1969 East High
Gary E. Curmode
January 11, 2021
Coach Norwood was a fine example of a human being. He leaves a strong legacy of caring for others, especially young kids. He will be sorely missed!
Addie Hawkins
January 8, 2021
As a retired Shawnee Mission East golf coach, I’ve known Coach Norwood briefly as the coach for Johnson County Community College. He came across as a gentle, respectful, and humble person, with a desire to improve his program to the best of his ability. What a great example for a human being. Kansas and everyone who was impacted by him will miss him very much.
Ermanno Ritschl
January 6, 2021
Coach Norwood, you were a true mentor and friend in every way, you always had words of wisdom and encouragement. You embodied a fierce competitive spirit but always in fairness teaching us to be gentlemen. I will truly miss you but the memories and life lessons are embedded for life. Heaven is recieving a bless soul.
Wade Banks
January 5, 2021
He was an amazing man of God and is surely in the arms of Jesus. I will miss him and my heart breaks for his wife, Pat for such a loss is Coach to her more than any of us. I love you, Coach.
Tracy Lingenfelser
January 5, 2021
I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family. I first met Lafayette 35 years ago when I began working at JCCC. He always had a kind word and made you feel welcome to be there. Lafayette was a true gentleman and such a kind person. Rest in peace, my friend.
Tim Hall
January 5, 2021
My heart hurts to lose a friend and a gentleman. Sheila and I will truly miss our visits after the basketball games. My prayers are with his family. Heaven has gained an angel.
Kay Dobbs
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