|Birth: ||Jun. 20, 1923|
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 2010|
The photos on this memorial are copyrighted by me, do not use on any website or printing without written permission from me.... thank you.
For Memorial Day remembrance, I'd like to share one of Dad's WWII stories:
While driving one of the officers to the Nuremberg War Trials after the end of the war, there was a German truck that would not let his U.S. Army jeep pass, always moving to the middle of the road every time the Army jeep moved out to go around. The officer (I think Dad said he was a Colonel) grew very impatient and irritated at this truck driver who was obviously a Nazi sympathizer. The Colonel ordered Dad to move to the other lane and line up with the truck and "hold steady", upon which the Colonel took out his pistol and aimed and shot out the side mirror of the truck. Needless to say, the truck then stayed in his lane and allowed the jeep to pass by and they were on their way to Nuremberg and would make the start of the trials. The Colonel turned to Dad and said, "Good job, Lawvere".
Dad always chuckled when he told this story.It was one of the lighter amusing memories of the war.
Dad was a great man, and there is much to say...
Robert Arthur Lawvere was born on June 20, 1923 in Muncie, Indiana - son of Robert Homer and Mildred Sponenberg Lawvere. He had an older sister, Beth Ilene Lawvere Shipe. After his birth, they moved back to Columbia County, PA first for a short time and then on to Hudson County, New Jersey, where his father worked in North Bergen, NJ. His mother contracted tuberculosis and became too ill to care for the children, so Dad's sister Beth (nick-named Betty)had gone to her grandparents, George and Harriet Moser, to live in Iola, Columbia County, PA, and then at age 4, Dad boarded a steam-engine train in NJ with just a tag pinned to his overcoat and rode the train alone to PA. He remembered the ride well, telling us the engineer yelled at him to sit down and not stick his head out the window. He was standing on the seat looking at the big black billows of smoke from the engine - he was curious at even a young age! The train stopped first in Plymouth, PA near Wilkes-Barre, and he stayed temporarily for a month with Joe and Rose and their family until he was again put on the train to go to his new home on the farm with his foster parents James and Maud Boone (he called them Uncle Jim and Aunt Maud) in Washingtonville area, West Hemlock Township, Montour County, PA. Jim Boone was a cousin to Dad's maternal grandfather, Raymond Sponenberg. Jim and Maud had lost a baby at birth and wanted very much for dad to come and live with them. He had a wonderful childhood with them, growing up on the farm.
He was such an excellent reader in first grade at Sheep's one-room school at the bottom of the hill from the farm, that he was advanced to start in the second grade. He continued the rest of his life as an excelled reader, sometimes reading a book a day. He was always reading, because he always wanted to learn, and he learned so much from everything he read.
Dad's mother, Mildred, died when he was age 8, in the Mt. Kipp Tuberculosis Sanitorium at Glen Garner, Hunterdon Co., NJ. She had gotten to come once to visit on the farm with dad.
When it was time for high school, he stayed in Danville with the Worman family so he could attend Danville High School, from which he graduated in 1940. In 1943, another tragic event in his life - his foster father Jim Boone was killed in July 1943 when the team of horses ran away and dragged him - he was taken to the hospital but died of his injuries. Dad continued to help with the farm but when he was called to WWII in 1945, the farm had to be sold and Aunt Maud moved into town in Washingtonville.
Dad was honored to serve in the Army in Germany with the 102nd Infantry Division Hdg. Troop and the Hdg. Co. 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Constabulary Regiment. Dad kept a daily journal while in the Army - one entry from it, "Rode the 40/8's from France into Germany, no heat, it was very cold". After his discharge from the Army, he returned home to Washingtonville. He worked for a time at Seidel's turkey farm and then went to work as a mechanic at his future father-in-law Clarence Glidewell's garage in Unityville, Lycoming County, PA. He married Marian Lorraine Glidewell on April 21, 1951. They bought the house in Unityville when they married and lived there until the day he died, almost 60 years in the same house, raising their four children - Scott, Beth Anne, Roberta, and Samuel. Dad started his own refrigeration business in 1951, a career that spanned nearly 40 years until he retired in 1989 after his first cardiac arrest. Dad continued helping friends and family however he could. He also worked in the instrumentation department at Merck Chemical in Riverside for a few years. He was able to not only do refrigeration, but also electrical, mechanical, heating and air conditioning, and appliance repairs. Dad could do about anything he set his mind to do and really could fix almost anything. He was always tinkering and made things like wind whirlygigs and chimes from scrap metal. He also loved to make wooden items, especially from Catalpa and Walnut wood.
He was a charter member of the Unityville Volunteer Fire Company and served as their first secretary.
Dad had so many interests in life - among them: listening to music and playing his vast record collection, listening to Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion and to Car Talk on the radio, watching Jeopardy, woodworking, metal crafting, electronics and gadgetry, working in his shop, and just talking to people and especially his family and friends.
Dad had a great sense of humor and amused everyone with his recital from memory of funny poems, humorous songs, and stories. He had a mind that absorbed everything and could do just about anything.
Dad's first automobile was a Hupmobile, then a 1938 Chevy he still owned. He loved his old Willy's Jeep, and his most recent was a Buick that when he got it, he sat inside it with the manual to discover all the bells and whistles it had and was delighted like a kid in a candy store.
Dad was most proud of his family and children and taught us all so many things, but most of all the importance of reading and learning so that we could do anything we set our minds to do - just like Dad.
Dad was one of those greatest generation men who really was great. When he died on December 6, 2010, it was a great loss indeed.
Words that describe or remind me of Dad:
intelligent, loving, gentle, kind, conversationalist, patriarch of our family, WWII veteran and the greatest generation, cookies - lemon, molasses, any kind of cookie; loved baked goods of all types, loved Mom's home cooking, wearing Dickie work pants, a long-sleeved shirt with pockets for his notebook and pen, suspenders, always a hat, especially a straw hat in the sun, singing Lydia Pinkham's songs, singing funny songs, reciting funny rhymes, humorous stories, WWII stories, stories of the farm and his life, looking up anything he didn't know or remember in his beloved set of Encyclopedia Britannica, talking to the cats and taking time to pet them and making a cute sound to the kitties, fed the birds and made copper-roofed bird feeders - loved all the birds but especially morning doves, cardinals, and cat-birds and hawk watching; the guy to go to when you needed something fixed or wanted to know how something worked, talking German with his grand-daughter Alyssa - he learned a lot of German when he was there in WWII, always could make something out of wood or metal, always asking questions to increase his knowledge, intrigued with history and weaponry, known as the man who went out of his way to help, once rescued a man from a burning car...
Robert Homer Lawvere (1900 - 1985)
Mildred Sponenberg Lawvere (1901 - 1931)
Beth Ilene Lawvere Shipe (1921 - 2007)*
Robert Arthur Lawvere (1923 - 2010)
Created by: Beth
Record added: Dec 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62645838