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Jean A. Lawrence

May 15, 1930 December 13, 2021
Jean A. Lawrence
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Obituary for Jean A. Lawrence

Jean Lawrence was born on May 15, 1930 on Tilman St., north of Michigan Ave. across the street from what was once the Czech Hall. Her mother was Agnes Usedly. Agnes' first husband had the surname “Player” and, after he died, she married Anton Usedly. Agnes was born in 1886 in the small village of Nehodiv in Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic and initially settled in Baltimore, Maryland when she, with members of her family, immigrated to America. Her husband Anton was born in Moravia in the Czech Republic. Agnes passed away in 1960 and Anton in 1971.

In 1954 Jean married Donald Lawrence, also from Detroit, who was born in 1928. He graduated from the University of Michigan and, after two tours of duty in the US Army, became an architect in the firm Tobocman and Lawrence. Together they had four children who were, in order of birth: Matthew Lawrence, Andrew Lawrence, Ruth Lawrence and Donald Lawrence, Jr. She also had three grandchildren: Anna Lawrence (father is Andrew) and Veronika Lawrence and Antonia Lawrence (father is Donald).

Jean was a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a Masters in Library Science including a trip to England to study for her master’s degree. Jean was a library and loved the job. She had wanted to be a librarian since she was a child. One of her teachers told her she would not be able to do that because her family, as many others, were poor, but this made her want it even more. Like many children her age, Jean suffered through cruel poverty as a child in the Great Depression. She grew up with her older brother Arthur — both the children of Anton — and her mother. Her father left the family when she was but 2 years old which made life very difficult.

After graduating from college, Jean became a librarian with the Plymouth-Canton School District, retiring eventually from Eriksson Elementary School.

Among her many interests, sewing and crafts were her most favorite, including various types of fiber craft including quilts, a skill which she passed on to her daughter Ruth. She even made Nantucket baskets for a period of time. But certainly her favorite thing in life was her family.

Funeral Service will be Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 11am at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Rd., Clawson, MI 48017. Family and friends may visit before the funeral beginning at 10am.

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