Life Story: Monica Claire Fitzgerald Lawrence; Shore Native, Army Wife

Monica Claire Fitzgerald Lawrence, 86, passed away peacefully after an extended illness on March 6  at Parker at McCarrick Care Center in Somerset, with family at her side.

Monica was born August 12, 1930 in Long Branch, the daughter of John and Katharine (Flanagan) Fitzgerald, and was the youngest of five children. She married Norman M. Lawrence at Holy Spirit Church in Asbury Park in 1956 and they were married for over 50 years until he pre-deceased her in 2011.

Monica, who spent her childhood in Asbury Park, fondly recalled her school days at St. Rose High School in Belmar. Monica loved languages and reading, and could tell stories for hours about her body surfing at the Jersey Shore, skiing the Alps and her work as a switchboard operator at BellTell. Monica also loved to share her knowledge of the Catholic Church, Saints and world history.

On December 1, 1956, Monica married Norman M. Lawrence, who was serving in the Signal Corps, and the couple honeymooned in Europe. During Mr. Lawrence’s military service, the young couple lived in various European cities and later settled in Connecticut. Then in 1963, Monica and Norman moved their growing family to Somerset, where they resided for almost 50 years. Monica was a daily communicant at St. Matthias Church. She was also a member of the Altar Rosary Society, and volunteered many years at the annual St. Matthias Carnival, and as a Lunch Lady at local schools.

She was pre-deceased by her brothers, John and Paul Fitzgerald and sisters Mary Grace and Dorothy Vielkind.

Mrs. Lawrence is survived by her son Richard Lawrence, daughter Eleanor Amato and husband Steve, son Robert (Bob) Lawrence and wife Ellen, son William (Bill) Lawrence and wife Lucy, daughter Margaret (Maggie) Temple and husband Jeff and her four cherished grandchildren Ryan and Brett Temple, Nicole Amato and James Lawrence – whom she always loved to spend time with.

Visiting will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. March 10 at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street in Somerset. Funeral services will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Matthias Church in Somerset. Committal services will take place privately.

Please consider a contribution in Mrs. Lawrence’s name to the Franklin Township Animal Shelter 475 Demott lane Somerset NJ 08873.


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