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Maj Joseph T. Lawlor USMCR (ret), 78, Plymouth Meeting, PA
Joseph T. Lawlor, 78, of Plymouth Meeting died peacefully Monday at home, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
Mr. Lawlor, longtime resident of the Plymouth Township area and parishioner of Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church, led a life filled with many awards and rewards.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, the son of the late Joseph J. and Verna George, Joseph was the sixth of eight children and was proud of his Irish and German ethnicity.
Joseph had many fond childhood memories, including camping and fishing expeditions with his three brothers in the nearby Pocono Mountain area.
He attended Holy Saviour Elementary and Coughlin High School. It is there that Joseph met and fell in love with Loretta, and their 49-year marriage followed.
Always an excellent athlete, Joe received a baseball and football scholarship to King's College, Wilkes-Barre, where he graduated in 1951 with a degree in journalism.
He soon enlisted in the Officer Training Program with the Marine Corps, and was sent to serve in the Korean War as a member of the U.S. Marines baseball team. A master rifleman, Joe retired as a major after 20 years of reserve duty, and never owned a gun or rifle.
Joseph loved Notre Dame football; he lived and breathed the blue and gold. His yearly gift to himself and others was to travel to South Bend for a Notre Dame home game and it soon became a family ritual. The Notre Dame Marching Song brought tears to his eyes in later years.
Joseph's life can be summed up as one filled with the love of God, family and country. As a longtime parishioner of Epiphany of Our Lord Church, he served as usher, coach and the head of many pancake breakfasts. In his later years, attending morning Mass was his most important daily activity.
He retired after 30 years with Pillsbury/Green Giant Co. as a regional and national sales manager. He spent many years working at St. Joseph University, teaching in and later becoming the executive director of the MBA Food/Pharmaceutical Marketing Academy. He retired from St. Joseph's University in 2000.
Always an avid golfer, Joe was a member of Talamar Country Club and spent every possible weekend golfing. Joe's favorite golf excursion included golfing across the country of Ireland with his son and brother.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, the former Loretta Norakus, in 2002.
Surviving are his seven surviving children, who truly mourn the passing of their wonderful father, Mary Ellen Tiedge and her husband, Scott, Lake Forest, Calif.; Norine Lawlor, Lansdale; Joseph Jr. and wife, Leila; and Jeanmarie Lawlor, Lafayette Hills; Jennifer Fradeneck and husband, Timothy, Center Valley; Robert and wife, Stacey, Virginia Beach, Va.; Julianne Dallas and husband, Matthew, Pottstown.
Joseph and Loretta were also blessed with 11 beautiful grandchildren, who were an integral, joyous part of their life together and even more so to Joe with the passing of Loretta, Kyle and Rory Tiedge, California; Sean and Craig Lowery; Joseph F. and Richard Lawlor, Georgia; Kevin and Katherine Fradeneck; Paul, Maggie and Luke Dallas.
His brother, Raymond Lawlor, New York, and sister, Elizabeth Austin, Mountain Top, survive him.
A Funeral Mass will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church. Friends may call Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m., and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to service time, at Lownes Funeral Home, Lafayette Hills.
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