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Margaret Lawrence

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Margaret Lawrence Obituary
Margaret Lawrence

Margaret Lawrence, 96, passed away suddenly of cardiac arrest on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in El Cerrito, CA. Although afflicted with Alzheimer's disease for more than a decade, she retained her infectious humor and positive approach to life until the end.


Margaret ("Marga" to her family) was born in 1917 in Munich, Germany. Her mother died of breast cancer when Margaret was 13. Fleeing from the Nazis to England in 1939, she had to leave her father, older sister, and 12-year-old niece behind as the war began. They perished in the concentration camps, along with other relatives.


In 1940, she married Hans Georg Lewinneck-also a German refugee from the Nazis. When Hans joined the British Army and went back in the Occupation, he changed his name to George Lawrence.


After the war, Margaret, George, and their son Peter lived in Buenos Aires for 6 years, and then emigrated to Oakland in 1954.


Married for 51 years, Margaret was a homemaker as well as an administrative assistant at Oakland Kaiser Hospital for 23 years, followed by 10 more as a Kaiser volunteer.


Margaret never dwelled in, nor denied, the tragedies of her past. She preferred to live in the moment, sharing her quirky, humorous observations with all. Her simple demeanor endeared her to anyone she knew. At the drop of a hat, she could sit down at a piano and knock out favorite tunes by ear. Her ability to play the piano-since age 4-was a gift that never left her. As age and Alzheimer's took its toll on her mind and body, she remained unsinkable.


Margaret is survived by her loving son Peter and daughter-in-law Bonnie, and beloved grandsons Daniel and Jonathan.


Services are on Tuesday, July 9, in the Chapel of the Home of Eternity Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, at 2 pm. Burial services will follow.


If you wish, memorial donations may be made to Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco, or Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay in Berkeley.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from July 7 to July 8, 2013
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