Evelyn Lawrence, 81, artist, teacher, child advocate and nurse

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Evelyn Marie Lawrence, 81, of River Forest, died at home on Sept. 24, 2010. Born in Akron, Ohio, to Charles and Ellen (nee Gallagher) King, she graduated from St. Thomas School of Nursing in Akron in 1951, then moved to New Orleans to work as an emergency room nurse at Charity Hospital. There she met Gene Lawrence, an intern, and they were married in 1954. After her husband finished his surgical training, they moved to Germany while he was stationed in the Army.

Ms. Lawrence pursued her interest in art, and after the family moved to River Forest, she completed a B.A. in art at Rosary College (now Dominican University). Her senior art show took place 22 years after she began taking classes.

A court-appointed special advocate for children for many years, she also became a certified Montessori teacher, was active in pro-life work at St. Giles and St. Luke parishes, and served as a hospice volunteer.

Evelyn Lawrence is survived by her husband, Arthur Gene Lawrence MD; her daughters, Mary Ellen and Susan (Stephen) McCardell; her sons, Jeffrey (Karen), Gene Jr. (Barbara), John (Pamela), Eliot Franklin and the late James Patrick Lawrence. She was the grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of 5; the sister of Sr. Marjorie King HM, Loretta Nicholas, Harry (Marge), Robert (Irene), the late Joseph King and Mary Lou Naugle; and the aunt of many.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Friends and family are asked to meet at St. Luke Church on Friday for Mass at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Evelyn Lawrence's name to St. Luke Church, 528 Lathrop Ave., River Forest 60305, are appreciated.

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