William Lawrence 1929-2021

William Lawrence 1929-2021 — My father died yesterday. It was at his home of 60 years in Springfield, Pa. He was 92. He went gently, sitting in his recliner listening to waltzes.

William W. Lawrence was born May 3, 1929 in Roebling, N.J. and raised by a single mom with two sisters. In his early teens, they moved to Philadelphia where he attended Jules E. Mastbaum High School.

William Lawrence 1929-2021
Dad with one of his favorite people

He was a good athlete. He played Pop Warner football and high school basketball. He was the school’s center, actually. Dad was 5-6. They never won a game, he says.

Dad’s other high school boast was that he was the only one among his friends who never stole a car.

He planned to be a carpenter but just before his 18th birthday he joined the Army. His goal was to become a paratrooper. A skill test, though, changed things. While waiting in a line he heard a whisper.

“Hey, kid. You wanna be a spy?”

And so rather than jumping from planes he ended up in the Army Security Agency. He learned Morse Code and spent the next several years in Western Europe monitoring the Soviet bloc. He talked about the time his unit was sent to West Berlin to chase a real spy. He talked about the time he intercepted the names of the entire Yugoslavian Army, when it broadcast its payroll over the air due to a postal strike. He talked about his dog Dit.

William Lawrence 1929-2021
Dad with some of his other favorite people

He returned to civilian life in 1954. He went to Temple University on the GI Bill and that’s when he chose journalism as his new career. He took a job with the Philadelphia Daily News where his talents were nurtured by editors like Bill Blitman and J. Ray Hunt.

He met my mom, Margaret Lozinak, a nurse at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital, and they were married in 1959. I came along a year later followed by Robert (1961) and Chris (1962).

In the early 1960s, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin — then the largest evening paper in the country — hired him away. There he covered crime and politics and numerous national stories. He edited the Mr. Fixit consumer affairs column, and was a leader in the Delaware Valley Kidney Fund which would morph into a movement to make dialysis affordable for all who needed it nationwide.

When the Bulletin closed in 1982, he was hired by Rich and Reese Crowe to edit the brand new County Press, a weekly covering Marple and Newtown townships in Delaware County, Pa. He created the Omnibit and Legendary Recipe features for the Press.

Dad would soon get part-ownership and start new Presses in Haverford, the Media area, Garnet Valley area, and Aston and Brookhaven.

The papers were sold to the Journal Register Co. in 2003. Dad would work part-time for them until 2008.

After Mom died in 2016, his last years were spent cooking, listening to music, and watching birds. He had seven bird feeders around the house including two for humming birds. His greatest enjoyment in the last few years was his cat Misty given him by Cindy and Katie, two friends from the County Press.

He is survived by his three sons; granddaughters Miranda, Skyler and Kyley; and grandson Anthony.

I’d like to thank Nurse Practitioner Kelly Barringer, Dr. Eric Ojerholm and a host of others at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the caring treatment he received.

A service will be held at 11 a.m., Oct. 7 at Holy Myrrh Bearers Church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081 with visitation starting at 10 a.m.

Arrangements are being handled by Logan-Videon Funeral Home.

William Lawrence 1929-2021
Dad with his most favorite person.
William Lawrence 1929-2021

22 thoughts on “William Lawrence 1929-2021”

  1. My sincerest condolences, Bill. Dad was a remarkable man, and reading your tribute to him only served to underscore this even more.

    I’m so glad he was with you to the end, and was able to go gently, as a gentleman, into the long night. Prayers and blessings on you and your whole family.

  2. If I may, Bill, my prayers for your dad, and for you and your family and your comfort. Eternal rest grant him, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

  3. Bill, this is a beautiful tribute honoring your dad. Clearly, you were both blessed to have had each other. My condolences for your loss.

  4. Sorry to hear of your loss! May he and Marge walk in paradise forever together.

    I enjoyed working with both of you “back in the day”. Today’s newspapers, without great editors like you and your dad, are only a shadow of the good sources of information that they used to be. RIP Bill Sr. and also the good old days.

  5. Bill, your Dad was a great guy. We were reporters at the same time, and later as a columnist my desk adjoined his Mr. Fixit department. I’m not able to attend the services, but my thoughts are with you.– Jim Smart

  6. Billy:
    Very sorry to hear about your Dad passing away. He was a good guy and always interesting to chat with. He certainly had an interesting life.
    On behalf of my wife, Sharon, you have our sympathy and condolences.
    John McGrane

  7. I’m sorry Bill. You know very well how much your dad meant to me. Although it’s been along time since I’ve seen him I’m going to miss him terribly. I owe him a debt of gratitude I’ll never be able to repay.

  8. So sorry for your loss.
    I only met you Dad a few times but he made a lasting impression on me and reminded me of my father.
    Your family is in my prayers.

  9. Bill, I worked with you and your Dad at the Newtown Square office before I moved to Springfield with Reese in the mid 1980s. Your Dad was a generous, funny, talented gentleman. It was a joy to know both your parents. My condolences to you and your Family.

  10. Hi Bill,
    So sorry to hear about your beloved Dad.
    Your love letter to him is one of the best that I have ever read. That is why I love the both of you, and your Mom as well. You guys gave me a stab at journalism back when I was an elder college student looking for different ways to write. I presented my college thesis as my resume and you guys hired me anyway ! One of the best times of my life was working with my two County Press editors, Senior and Junior, and chatting with your Mom at the old Garnet Valley Press office. I loved your Dad and your family; I will always be grateful for your kindness and generosity. John (still a Wildman)and I send to you all of our love and wish for you and your family comfort and peace.

  11. Dear Bill, What a lovely tribute to your Dad. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Betty Lou

  12. Sorry for your loss. Bill Sr. was great guy. I’m glad I had the chance to know him and work with him for so long.

  13. Dear Bill,
    Sincere condolences to you and your family.
    Your grieving hearts can take some solace simply by knowing that your parents are together once again.
    I was honored to have met both of them.

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