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John H. LAWRENCE

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LAWRENCE, John H. John Howard Lawrence, a resident of Chatfield in West Hartford (formerly of Simsbury and Canton), died peacefully at the age of 90 on Monday morning (August 2, 2010). John's wife of 67 years, Dorothy, passed away on May 20, 2010. He was born in East Orange, NJ, on September 26, 1919, to the late Jean and Kenneth Lawrence. John grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, and graduated from Columbia High School in 1937 and from Washington and Lee University with his class in 1942. He was on the swim team at Washington & Lee and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. John joined the Navy in August 1942 after the outbreak of World War II. John met his wife, Dorothy, in 1943 when he was at the U.S. Navy's Northwestern Midshipman School (Tower Hall) in Chicago and she was in nurse's training at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. They were married on August 7, 1943. He served as the Gunnery Officer and later the Executive Officer on the USS LST-84, a landing ship tank, and served with his ship in the amphibious invasions of Tarawa, the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal for taking charge of a shipboard fire fighting detail to battle a gasoline fire between three gun batteries on the ship, and he received a Purple Heart Medal for a wound received during a kamikaze attack at the invasion of Saipan. He later served as the Executive Officer of the USS Agenor (ARL-3), a landing craft repair ship. When he returned from the war, he and Dorothy settled in South Orange, NJ, and he worked as a certified public accountant and became a partner at Pogson, Peloubet and Company in New York City, which merged into Price Waterhouse & Co. (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in 1963. John joined the Standard Screw Company (now Stanadyne, Inc.) and moved to Simsbury in 1965. He later became the Secretary and then the Treasurer of the corporation. He retired from Stanadyne in 1985. Upon his retirement, the Board of Directors of Stanadyne expressed its appreciation to John for his graciousness, leadership, integrity and professionalism and for providing a model to those who had the good fortune to work with him. John was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. John was a quiet man who dearly loved his family and was a steady source of support to all of them in all of their lives and many activities. He will be best remembered by his family for his gentle good nature and the many happy summer days that he spent making dribble sand castles, swimming, boating and playing with them on the beach during their vacations in Avalon, NJ, and at Lake Sunapee, NH, and for his endearing and calming presence. John leaves his sister Ginger and her husband Jack Hibbits of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; his son John and his wife Mary of Glastonbury; his daughter Debbie and her husband Gary Miller of Canton; and his daughter Gina and her husband Stanley Ritterbusch of Canton. He also leaves six grandchildren: Gina and her husband Marc Brown of Canton; Heather and her husband Brian Jim of Tampa, FL; Ken Ritterbusch and his wife Amy of Orlando, FL; Betsy and her husband Greg Minton of Denham Springs, LA; Amy Ritterbusch of Bogota, Columbia; and Christina Lawrence of Providence, RI. In addition, he leaves seven great grandchildren, Lilly Jim, Mason and Garett Brown, Stanley and Norman Ritterbusch, and Lathan and Grace Minton. A memorial service will be held on Friday (September 17, 2010) at 2:30 p.m. at the Simsbury United Methodist Church, 799 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury. Burial will be at the convenience of the family in the Village Cemetery in Collinsville. Contributions in John's memory may be made to Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450, or on-line at http://www.wlu.edu. Vincent Funeral Home, Canton is assisting the family with the arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.vincentfuneralhome.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant from Aug. 12 to Aug. 15, 2010
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