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Bernard F. Lawrence

August 24, 1937 September 29, 2023
Bernard F. Lawrence
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Obituary for Bernard F. Lawrence

Bernard F. Lawrence—“Ben” or “Bernie”—age 86, died peacefully on September 29, 2023 at Cross Keys Village/The Brethren Home Community Personal Care. He was born on August 24, 1937 to Mildred “Mitt” C. (Staub) Lawrence and Bernard J. “Shun” Lawrence in McSherrystown, PA, the 4th of 13 children. He was a loving husband, married to Irene L. (Crouse) Lawrence—“Renie”—for 60 years until she died on July 23, 2020.

A 1955 graduate of Delone Catholic High School, Ben attended Villanova University, graduating with a B.S. degree in Social Studies in 1959. He worked his way through college, usually 40+ hours per week doing all types of jobs in the university’s cafeteria, eventually becoming assistant manager while a student. Because of working so much, it didn’t allow much time to study, and he considered it a minor miracle that he passed his classes and completed his degree! In December 1958, he met Renie on a Greyhound Bus as they each traveled home from schools in Philadelphia, PA. A Greyhound Bus is engraved on the back of their gravestone!

Ben’s long career in food service and/or food sales included jobs in PA, MI, and IN. He managed the snack bar at Gettysburg College and was Food Service Director at several colleges. After years of selling food products for others, Ben started his own company Bernie’s Paper Supply in 1995, then sold it in 2002. He found he didn’t like being retired, got other jobs, and wound up starting Bernie’s Food Products. He retired in 2019 for the last time at the age of 82. Ben was friendly, genuinely interested in his customers, and loved being a salesman. His customers loved him: a former customer at a farm market even baked raspberry pies for him!

Ben is survived by his 5 children—Alicia Smith, Bernie J. Lawrence, Tricia Lawrence (Dick Cordes), Jeanne Zumbrum (Mike), and Judy Cox (Scott); 21 grandchildren—Corwyn Smith (Emily), Carissa Smith, Camryn Smith, Connor Smith, Becca Cordes, Noah Cordes, Ariel Cordes, Sarah Cordes, John Zumbrum (Haochen), Kathleen Zumbrum, Jennifer Sols (Ignasi), Ann Zumbrum, Lisa Zumbrum, Maria Zumbrum, Carl Zumbrum, Daniel Zumbrum, Teresa Zumbrum, Shannon Cox, Eileen Cox, Carrie Cox, & Ian Cox; and 6 great-grandchildren. One grandchild Matthew Cordes predeceased him.

Ten siblings survive Ben and live in McSherrystown or Hanover, PA: Joe Lawrence, Jean Lawrence, Teresa Lawrence, Letty Riser, Peg Lawrence, Tony Lawrence, Cathy Lawrence, Eileen Kindig, Rita Lawrence, and Anita Zeigler. Two siblings Mary Ann Krepps and Rose Lawrence predeceased him.

Ben’s faith was very important to him. He was a long-time member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church where he served in multiple positions. He volunteered as a song leader and choir member at various churches for years while his wife Renie played the piano for Masses. Every night he and Renie prayed the rosary together. They ran a prayer group in their home together for 17 years.

Ben was involved in the Delone Band Boosters, serving as President for 2 years, and helped to run the carnivals when his five children were in the band.

He loved to read, particularly history, religious books, and westerns by Louis L’Amour. He was fascinated by trains, loved to fish, and was an avid Boston Red Sox fan.

Ben especially enjoyed being with his children, their spouses, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved having picnics in the backyard, grilling chicken with “Grampa Ben’s Homemade BBQ Sauce,” cooking hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks over the fire, and watching the kids chase lightning bugs.

For the past 19 months, Ben lived at Cross Keys Village/Brethren Home in Personal Care. He formed many wonderful friendships with staff and residents. The family is grateful to the staff for their excellent care of Ben, especially how tenderly they cared for his needs in the last week of his life.

A viewing will be held on Sunday, October 8th from 2-4pm at Monahan’s Funeral Home, 125 Carlisle St., Gettysburg PA 17325. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, October 9th at 10:30 am at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Historic Church, 25 West High St., Gettysburg. Burial will be in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Gettysburg directly following the Mass. A private reception afterwards will be just for immediate family.

Online condolences and sharing memories may be made at Sympathy cards for Ben’s children may be sent to Monahan Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Cross Keys Village Personal Care, 2990 Carlisle Pike, New Oxford PA 17350 (for Staff Appreciation) or to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, PO Box 4125, Lancaster PA 17604.

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2:00 PM 10/8/2023 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 10/8/2023 4:00:00 PM
Monahan Funeral Home

125 Carlisle Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Monahan Funeral Home
125 Carlisle Street Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States





10:30 AM 10/9/2023 10:30:00 AM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

25 West High Street
Gettyburg, PA 17325

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
25 West High Street Gettyburg 17325 PA
United States

Cemetery Details


St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery Final Resting Place

West High Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

West High Street Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States

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