Jack Douglas Lawrence was born in Ypsilanti, MI on January 17, 1924, to Pearl F. (Gibbs) Lawrence and Therlo C. Lawrence. Jack attended Ypsilanti Public Schools. He was captain of both the football and baseball teams his senior year. After graduation in 1942, he attended what would become Eastern Michigan University. He also worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant for a short few months before enlisting in the Marines on February 13, 1943. He earned the rank of Corporal, was a rifle sharpshooter, and aircraft mechanic. He served in the Southwest Pacific Area from February 29, 1944, to August 22, 1945. Jack participated in the consolidation of the Northern Solomons and Philippines Operations.
After being honorably discharged on October 25, 1945, he returned to Ypsilanti and resumed his education. Jack earned BA and MA degrees in Education. It was at EMU that Jack met his future wife, Joan Marie Keys. They married on February 2, 1952, and in the next nine years, he became the lucky father (his words) of five daughters. They raised their family in Ypsilanti. Jack was an elementary school educator for almost twenty-eight years; twenty-five of those in Ypsilanti Public Schools as a fifth grade teacher at Erickson Elementary School. He retired in 1981 and enjoyed many long years of retirement; spending time with his family and friends. He loved playing golf, especially at Raisin Valley in Tecumseh. Jack was a loving and devoted husband, son, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Jack is survived by daughters Anne Lawrence of Ann Arbor, Martha Lawrence (Simon Parsons) of Dunedin, New Zealand, Amy Lawrence (Joseph Wysocki) of Calhoun, GA, Kerri (Daniel) McConnell of Ann Arbor, and Jacklyn (Steven) Swartzinski of Northville; grandchildren Noah Crimmins of Ypsilanti, Ashton Parsons of Tecumseh, James Parsons of Dunedin, New Zealand, Joseph (Jessie) Wysocki of Tecumseh, Alec Wysocki of Ypsilanti, Caelia Wysocki of Kennesaw, GA, Marie (Tim) Walker of Howell, Mollie McConnell of Howell, Jack, Roy, Willem, and Ella Swartzinski all of Northville; great grandchildren Blake and Blaire Wysocki and Sophia Walker; sister Janette (John) McPherson of Tipton. Jack also leaves behind many treasured nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends. Jack’s beloved wife, Joan Marie, preceded him in death by just eighteen days, after sixty-nine years of marriage. Both will be dearly missed. He was also preceded in death by his parents Pearl and Therlo Lawrence and brothers Therlo, James, and Charles Lawrence. The family is grateful for the care Jack received from Home Instead of Adrian and Elara Caring of Adrian.
Jack donated to many charities during his lifetime. The family asks that anyone wishing to donate in Jack’s memory do so to a charity or cause of their choice.
A graveside reading will take place Monday, June 7, 2021, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, 1400 N. River Street, Ypsilanti, MI. This will take place following Joan’s Funeral Mass at 2:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 830 South Lafayette St., South Lyon, MI 48178 and her final blessing at the cemetery.
Following the funerals, family and friends are invited to the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, 100 Market Pl, Ypsilanti, MI 48198 (Depot Town).
The family requests that masks are worn and social distancing be observed inside the church and the Freighthouse.
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