Martha Catherine Lawler (Nana), 82, a gem of a lady, of Folsom, Pennsylvania, earned her wings and slipped away peacefully at home on Sunday, July 18 surrounded by her loving sons. She was born in the Polish section (St Hedwig) of the city of Chester in 1938 to the late Earnest and Catherine (Raikowski) Purcell. She graduated from Chester High School in 1956 and counted the basketball great Horace Walker as one of her dearest friends.
While working at the Westinghouse plant in Lester, PA Martha met her soul mate in William Lawler. Together they enjoyed dressing up, dancing and painting the town. They were married on St Patty’s Day 1960 and from there mom devoted her entire life to the care and raising of her seven children.
She opened her heart and her home to all that visited. She was the den mother of the small two-block world we grew up in Folsom. She would patch up injuries of friends who were too afraid to take them home and would deliver a good kick in the bottom if you stepped out of line. She received love and kindness from all that entered her door. In what little spare time she had you would find her tending her gardens bare foot in the back yard.
Mom was the consummate cook in the kitchen. In her later years, she directed her sons in the art of properly preserving the family recipes. She especially cherished the Holiday gatherings with her growing family. Her favorite saying to all of us was “If you go home hungry, it’s your own d##n fault” because the table was always full of tasty things and there was always room for whoever strolled in the back door. She touched the lives of everyone who came to know her.
Her sons would like to extend a world of thanks to Dr. Christine Giesa (Niece) and Dr. Maria Rupnick (adopted 2nd Daughter) for the love and care they showed mom and them during her illness.
Martha was preceded in death by her husband William, her daughter Kathleen (Carlisle) and brothers John (Andrea) and Ernest (Anne). She is survived by her sons William (Patti), John (Stephanie), Christopher, Joseph (Jackie), Dan and Timothy (Aimee). She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 3 generations of nieces and nephews.
Respects may be extended at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Peace Church in Milmont Park, PA on Monday, July 26. A Catholic Funeral Mass will follow at 11 am. Burial will follow immediately at Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, PA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Shriner’s Hospital or St Jude’s Hospital for Children.