Cover photo for Martha Elizabeth Lawrence's Obituary
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Martha Elizabeth Lawrence

March 10, 1926 — September 6, 2023

Ellicott City

Martha Elizabeth Lawrence


Martha Elizabeth (Francis) Lawrence, 97, of Ellicott City, MD formerly of Monticello, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on March 10, 1926 in Saranac Lake, NY to the late Leo Monroe and Hazel Ruth (Vice) Francis. On November 24, 1945 she married George O. Lawrence in Lisbon, NY.  He preceded her in death on October 25, 2016.

Martha was a 1943 graduate of North Lawrence High School in North Lawrence, NY and went on to attend Ogdensburg Business College. As her first jobs, she worked at a bank and then a furniture store in Lisbon, NY. 

After starting their family, Martha & George were farmers in Lisbon. In 1955, they made the decision to stop farming and George worked on construction jobs. In 1959, to give more opportunities to their family, they moved to numerous states for this construction work. 

During these years of moving, Martha worked in Fort Dix, New Jersey, University of Delaware, Hospital Microfilming, Valparaiso University in Indiana, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where she managed an office of administrative assistants.        

Martha was a member of the Monticello United Methodist Church. She enjoyed being part of the Red Hat Society in both Monticello and Florida, as well as volunteering at White County Food Pantry, Salvation Army and other organizations.

Martha enjoyed needlework and sewing and taught these skills to many others, including her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  She enjoyed gardening, both vegetables and flowers, cooking, reading, playing cards and games. 

During retirement, Martha and her husband embraced bee keeping, traveling, and making wooden crafts.  After her husband of 72 years died in 2016, she poured her love and energy into sewing Pot Holders from donated fabric and became known as the “Pot Holder queen.” Thousands of people across the country enjoy using her Pot Holders.  She found joy in seeing each person receive these FREE gifts.  

Martha was an example of how we should live and love.  Her life touched everyone she met.   

She is survived by her children, Steven (Nancy) Lawrence, Donna (Ron) Matthews, Diane (Bob) Adams; grandsons, Christopher, Douglas, Ryan, Rob; granddaughters, Angela, Abigail; and thirteen great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband, George, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Charles, Bernard, Leo, Jr., Bertram, and Lloyd Francis; and her granddaughter, Sherri Wright.

Visitation will be Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 9:30 am until the time of memorial services celebrating Martha's life  at 11:00 am at Springer-Voorhis-Draper Funeral Home of Monticello. Her grandson-in-law, Steve Buhr will officiate services.

Memorial contributions may be given to the White County Food Pantry or Helping Paws of Monticello.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Friends and family are encouraged to share a photo, a memory, or messages of condolence at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Elizabeth Lawrence, please visit our flower store.


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