Obituaries: Francine Lawrence


OTTUMWA-Francine Patalacci Lawrence, 88, of 409 E. Rochester, died at 1:18 p.m. March 30, 2017 at Hospice House in Ottumwa.

She was born June 28, 1928 in Nice, France to Amilcar and Marinette Belardinelli Patalacci.  She grew up close to the Mediterranean Sea, the youngest of eight children.

In 1944, Carl Lawrence parachuted into southern France with the 509th Airborne.  Soon afterward Francine and Carl caught one another’s eye and as World War II continued they fell in love.  They were married on August 30, 1945 in Nice.  Francine came to the United States on a war bride ship in June, 1946.  The pair were married for 57 years before Carl’s death in 2003.



Francine was a sweet and kind woman, who in turn was treated very kindly by many, including the wonderful ladies of North Hy-Vee, the terrific former and current staff members of Meridian Credit Union and the extremely caring fellow quilters of her beloved Y-Women group.  Francine was an excellent cook and baker who loved to feed others her delicious food.  She also enjoyed sewing and knitting numerous scarves and hats.  Francine was a volunteer for the Wapello County Relay for Life.  She used her artistic skills to decorate many luminary bags.

Surviving are her children, Larry (Pam) Lawrence of Altoona, Dave (Terri Roberts) Lawrence of Ottumwa, Frank (Sandy Archer) Lawrence of Ottumwa, Julie Lawrence and Francine Vose both of Ottumwa; 12 grandchildren, Kristina (Tom) Roberts, Greg (Sandy) Lawrence, Jeff (Jennifer) Lawrence, Candi Miller, Brian (Holly) Zybarth, Jesse Lawrence, John Lawrence, Brian (Chrissy) Rainey, Marcus Rainey, Traci (Mark) Proctor, Travis Lawrence, Aaron Vose; 20 great-grandchildren, Jack, Sam, Joe, Logan, Isabella, Solomon, Randal, Hannibal, Simon, Chloe, Brenda, Bradley, Halynn, Brylynn, Sylvia, Wade, Liam, Jay, Josh and Matthew; 3 great-great grandchildren, Aubree, Saylor and Nayvie; many nieces and nephews.  Francine was fortunate to have many other people in her life that she considered to be part of her family.  They included Peter and Mary Ann Reiter, Megan, Luis and Liam Rodriguez, Jane and Torrie Centeno, Virginia McNeely and family, the family of Tom and Mary Cason, Skeeter and Lois White, Toni and Richard Petterson, Donna Murphy, Rocky Hubbard and family, Neal and Barb Grindle, Joan and Mike McMillin, Anne and Tom Evans, Gail Huffman, Kathy and Bob Higgins, Richard and Nancy Klodt and the Eisenhower School Community.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Coco, Honoré and Emile; four sisters Clara, Germaine, Dora and Gina.

Her body has been cremated.

Visitation with the family present will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at Reece Funeral Home.

Graveside services and inurnment will be at a later date at Black Jack Cemetery in Barton County, MO.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ottumwa Public Library, Wapello County Relay for Life or Hospice Serving Davis & Wapello Counties, 927 Pennsylvania Ave., Ottumwa, IA 52501