Thelma Elizabeth Lawrence, known to all that loved her as Lally, passed on Saturday June 15, 2013 in Fresno, California, at the age of 86.
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Lally was born in Dartford, England on December 20, 1926, the youngest of three children and the only girl, her parents Frank and Louise Brown noticed early on that she had a penchant for helping others. During the Second World War Lally was a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service, the women's branch of the Queen's Navy and she had a life long love of the Girl Scouts, working with a variety of troupes all over the world. In the 1950s Lally met her one true love Frank Ronald Lawrence, while working in an office together. Theirs was a story right out of a fairy tale. After a whirl-wind romance that involved Wendy and Peter Pan, their love took them to Canada and eventually the United States. Frank and Lally had three daughters Dianne, Elizabeth, and Penny and Lally dedicated herself to creating a loving home for Frank and her girls.
Frank passed in 1987 and Lally committed herself to her daughters and grandchildren. When not volunteering at one of her grandchildren's schools, Lally could be found at her local soup kitchen, in Hanford, California. Hanford became home for Lally in the 1990s and it is there that she found an array of friends that she counted among family.
Lally affected all that knew her with her bright and vibrant personality and fondness for storytelling. She is survived by her family and a multitude of friends; her daughters and their spouses Dianne Croft, Elizabeth and Tony Scarfone, and Penny and Edward Szabrak. Her grandchildren and their loved ones Robert Cawley and Liz Bochick, Frank Cawley, Candace Lawrence and her husband Nick Phillips, Grace Szabrak, and Rosemary Bochick will always remember her.
Lally wished to be cremated and returned to the Pacific Ocean, to once again be with her love Frank.
"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting."
- J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Published in The Hanford Sentinel on July 2, 2013