Cortez Hicks Laurence thumbnail

Cortez Hicks Laurence

February 18, 1918 - April 2, 2017

Funeral services for Cortez Hicks Laurence, 99, of Bernice, will be held at 3pm, Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Shiloh Baptist Church, Highway 2, east of Bernice. Officiating will be Rev. Mike Fletcher and Rev. Scott Fletcher. Interment will be in the Bernice City Cemetery under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of…read more

Funeral services for Cortez Hicks Laurence, 99, of Bernice, will be held at 3pm, Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Shiloh Baptist Church, Highway 2, east of Bernice. Officiating will be Rev. Mike Fletcher and Rev. Scott Fletcher. Interment will be in the Bernice City Cemetery under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston. Visitation will be held from 3 to 7pm, Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston.

Mrs. Laurence died Sunday, April 2, 2017 in Ruston at Northern Louisiana Medical Center. She was the only child of Grover Culberson and Annie Elizabeth Williams Hicks of Bernice. Cortez was born February 18, 1918 in Dubach, LA and moved to Bernice with her family at 9 months of age. She resided in Bernice her whole life except when she attended college, during World War II when she accompanied her husband on his assignments to various military posts, and this past year at an assisted living home. When her husband was overseas, she was freshman girls’ dormitory counselor at Louisiana Tech.

She was Miss Bernice and after graduating from Bernice High School in 1934, she attended Belhaven Women’s College in Brookhaven, MS and Louisiana College in Pineville, LA. In the fall of her junior year, October 1936, she married Wick Laurence, Jr., also of Bernice, who was a senior at Atlanta Southern Dental College, later Emory University. After his graduation, they returned to Bernice, where he began his dental practice.

Cortez was active in the Bernice Garden Club, Bernice Civic Club, Bernice High School PTA, holding offices in each organization. She took great joy in supporting youth organizations, and as a member of the First Baptist Church in Bernice, she taught the youth Sunday School class. She served as an advisor to the Louisiana Junior Hereford Association and the American Junior Hereford Association. She and Dr. Laurence were avid supporters and sponsors of the Union Parish 4-H Club and Dixie Youth Baseball League in Bernice. For several summers, she drove team members to Houston to see the Astros play. Throughout her life, baseball was a special interest. She attended games in her younger years and later in life, she avidly watched her favorite players and teams, the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers.

For 42 years, she was on the Board of Directors of the Union Parish Library and was president for several years. She devoted much time and effort to the growth and promotion of the library and its facilities.

Over the years, Mrs. Laurence held memberships in the American Hereford Association, the American Jersey Association, and the Louisiana Forestry Association. Mrs. Laurence was an accomplished judge of cattle and horses. Until her death, she quoted the description of every piece of land she owned. Her memory was remarkable.

When her mother died in 1957, she and her father managed Hick’s Store for 7 years, until they closed it so that she could be more readily available for her daughter’s various school and organization events prior to Margeann’s graduation.

She was a member of the Bernice Historical Association. Genealogy was a favorite pastime, and living in Bernice all her life she knew many families in the area and loved helping their descendants trace their roots.

Recently, she made a 10-year donation to the Union Youth Livestock Council which will support 4-H Livestock exhibitors in the parish. The donation honored the assistant county agent during the years her daughter was in 4-H.

Mrs. Laurence is preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 62 years, 11 months, Dr. M. Wick Laurence, Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Margeann L. Warden and husband, Henry “Hank” Warden, a grandson, Robert Wickliffe “Wick” Warden and wife Kristin, and granddaughter, Amelia Marie “Millie Marie” Warden, and 5 great-granddaughters, Adelaide, Keturah, Madeline, Katherine, and Deborah Warden. She adored her family and always looked forward to seeing them, especially the great-granddaughters.

Pallbearers will be Larry Pixley, Dr. Hoye Grafton, Dr. Warren Grafton, John Cook, Gary Patterson, Jarod Patterson, and Jace Patterson. Honorary pallbearers will be Mayor William C. “Bill” Mitcham, Cal Colvin, David Hedgepeth, Lue Charles Napper, Johnny Buckley, Johnny Gilfoil, W.W. “Bud” Farrar, Jr., Simon Pearson, Charles L. Fields, Crawford L. Fields, Richard “Dicky” Heard, Dr. Steve Heard, and Robert P. “Buddy” Heard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 12841 Highway 2, Bernice, LA 71222 or Union Youth Livestock Council, PO Box 6, Farmerville, LA 71241.

Thank you to Crawford Fields and Dora Findley for their many years of attentiveness to Miss Cortez. The family would like to thank Dr. Paul Rushing and nurses, Sandy and Angelia, and Dr. Robert Massingill and nurses, Dianthia and Cheryl at Christus-Schumpert Highland in Shreveport for the care given to Mrs. Laurence all these years, as well as, Dr. Tommy Smith and the third-floor nursing staff at Northern Louisiana Medical Center in Ruston and Phillip Carroll and staff at Carroll Home Health in Ruston.

A very special thank you to Miss Cortez’s sitters, Margaret Archie, LaTaria Brown, Margeoal Gray, Shardae Lewis, Shady Simms, and Deandria Williams for the wonderful care each of them gave to Miss Cortez.

Condolences may be left in Cortez’s online guestbook at

Kilpatrick Funeral Home
Ruston, LA


Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017

Time: 03:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes - Ruston


209 North Bonner
Ruston, LA 71270

Service Information

Date: Sunday, April 9, 2017

Time: 03:00 pm

Shiloh Baptist Church

Highway 2

Bernice, LA

Cemetery Information

Date: Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bernice City Cemetery

Bernice, LA

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