Charles D. Lawrence Sr., 93 of Braintree passed away at home Tuesday morning after a long illness. He was surrounded by his family. Ann, his beloved wife of 65 years, passed in September so now they are together again. Charlie and Ann had six children, Teresa (who died in infancy), Lt. Col. Charles D. Lawrence Jr. (USAR Ret. West Point '79) of Palm Bay FL, Scott Lawrence of Braintree, Elizabeth Smith of Braintree, Dean Lawrence of Henderson NV and Grace Ann Lawrence of Braintree. His son-in-law is Judson Smith of Braintree and daughters-in-law are Patricia Lawrence (White) of Henderson NV and Jennifer Lawrence (Gallagher) of Palm Bay FL. Charlie had nine grandchildren, Samantha and Teresa Smith of Braintree, Conner Lawrence, Cameron Lawrence, Aidan Lawrence, Liam Lawrence and Bailey Lawrence of Henderson NV and Joshua and Andrew Lawrence of Palm Bay FL. He is survived by his sister Phyllis Squire of Raynham and his sister Marietta Woods of South Easton and many nieces and nephews. He had a very special bond with his children and grandchildren. The Lawrence house at 1719 Liberty Street was heaven on earth for his family and Charlie was the World's Greatest Husband, Dad, Papa and Grandpa. Charlie was born in Brockton to Irene and Desmond Lawrence on the eve of the Great Depression and graduated from Brockton High School. He served in WWII having enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduation. He crossed the Atlantic on the Lewiston Victory and served in Italy in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations United States Army (METOUSA). He was a military police officer in the 503rd Military Police Battalion covering the Laverno and Pisa sectors. Upon returning stateside he served as a mortarman in the 505th Parachute Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After discharge from the service Charlie returned to Brockton and eventually worked for Knapp Shoe where he met his wife Ann. They were married at St. Francis Church in South Braintree on May 14, 1955. The couple resided at 1719 Liberty Street and had six children, Teresa ( who died in infancy), Charles Jr., Scott, Elizabeth, Dean and Grace. Charlie worked at Armstrong World Industries in Braintree for 35 years retiring in 1990. The first 18 years were spent in the mill department in a dangerous heavy industry environment. He attended the Peterson School to study steam engineering, working a second job in the boiler room at Norfolk County Hospital to get time on the job. He received his Fireman's License and then went on to earn his Third Class Engineer's license in 1973. This allowed him to work as a stationary steam engineer tending the massive steam boilers at the Armstrong plant. He served in that capacity until his retirement. A consummate patriot, Charlie put God, country and family above every other consideration. The great grandson of a Civil War hero, Charlie loved all things historicalepic tales of heroism and the great poems and classics of literature. His military experience was at the core of his personality and he loved all things military especially marching bands. He was a skilled public speaker having given many lectures at the Old Colony Civil War Roundtable. Charlie also volunteered at the TIC in Marshfield broadcasting historical articles for the blind. All his children recall being read to constantly. Despite his broad knowledge base, Charlie was most at home with one of his children on his lap reading nursery rhymes or singing a silly song with his wonderful sense of humor. He regularly read to the children at the Cerebral Palsy of the Shore Childrens Developmental Disabilities Center in Quincy where his daughter Beth was director. Charlie was a faithful blood, plasma, and platelets donor for the American Red Cross. He only stopped when his doctor said his health was at risk. A man of great faith, Charlie was a devoted member of St. Clares Parish in Braintree. He was also very active at the Holy Cross Fathers Retreat House at Stonehill College. Charlie and Ann were active in the Cursillo movement there for over thirty years. Charlie was one of a kind. He lived a life of love kindness, decency and courtesy, always giving the perfect example. He always sought out what was true, right and good. The ultimate gentleman, Charlie carried himself with humility and grace with an indomitable spirit of personal honor and devotion. Charlie will always be remembered as one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. Visiting hours will be held at the Hurley Funeral Home, 127 So. Franklin St. (Rt. 37), Holbrook on Monday, March 1st from 4-6pm. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Covid-19 precautions will be in place. A private funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, March 2nd at St. Clares Church in Braintree followed by a burial at St. Marys Cemetery in Randolph. In lieu of flowers, donations in Charlie's memory can be made to South Shore Visiting Nurses Association or Integrated Mobile Health of South Shore Hospital. Late US Army Veteran. For online guestbook, visit www.thehurleyfuneralhomes. com.
Published in The Enterprise on Feb. 28, 2021.