Helen Julianna Lawrence, age 91, of Ashland, New York died April 20, 2014 at her residence. She was born on December 29, 1922 in New York City, the daughter of Nils Jul Nilsen, an expert Submarine Deep Sea Diver, and Anna (Maloney) Nilsen.
Helen was an active member of the Windham community for over 70 years. She was a devoted wife, loving mother of eight children and close friend to many. Helen leaves behind a legacy of enduring love, giving and devotion to her family, friends and the community.
In her teens, Helen spent summers at what is known today as the Police Anchor Camp and was later employed at Sugar Maples Resort. It was on a bridge near Sugar Maples Resort that she met the love of her life, Bertram G. Lawrence of Maplecrest. They were married at the Batavia Rock House in 1942.
From the time of their marriage to 1967, Helen assisted Bert in operating Pleasant Valley Farm in Ashland, New York where they produced milk from Holstein cows and raised turkeys, chickens and sheep. Later, she supported Bert in the purchase of Windham Hardware. Helen also ran the family-owned Ron's Dairy Bar on Route 23 for many summers.
Bert Lawrence passed away in 1992. Helen is survived by her eight children (and spouses): Bertram G. Lawrence Jr. (Earline) of Bonita Springs, FL; Ronald Nils Lawrence of Morris, CT; Glen Douglas Lawrence (Alice) of New York City, NY; Mildred Jean Lawrence of Sarasota, FL; James Bradley Lawrence (Diane) of Windham, NY; Thomas Roger Lawrence (Claire) of Bonita Springs, FL; JoAnn Marie Lawrence of Amherst, MA; Loretta Ann Ventura (Steven) of Scotch Plains, NJ; 14 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and many special nieces and nephews.
Helen's wake will be held on Thursday, April 24 at Decker's Funeral Home in Windham, NY from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm. The funeral services will be at Windham Methodist Church commencing at 11 am followed by a graveside service at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to the Ashland Historical Society (earmark Episcopal Church), Attention Dawn Thorp, 465 County Route 32C, Windham, NY 12496.