Marilyn J. (Shoemaker) Lawrence of Alton went to Heaven to be with “Jesus and Jenny” at 5:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, just short of her 78th birthday.
She was born Aug. 16, 1936.
Marilyn had battled COPD for years, and it finally became just too much for her. She was the most amazing mother, grandmother and nana. Her ultimate wish in life was to be a wife and mother, and she was the absolute best. Her love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was what motivated her.
She married Billy D. Lawrence in 1955, and later divorced before he went to Heaven in March of 2005.
She was involved in youth ministry throughout the years in many capacities, including as an Encounter chaperone, youth leader and mentor. She loved kids of all ages, teaching and entertaining them in the most creative ways.
Marilyn loved to collect antiques and paint on anything she could find: rocks, cans, pitchers, candles, ornaments, etc. She was very talented in flower-arranging, decorating, gardening (with a spoon!) and sewing. She could make the most beautiful prom dress out of a brand-new bed sheet and embroidered strawberries on anything that her family would allow. Marilyn could make the most amazing playhouse out of a cardboard box. Her pie crust was unequaled and impossible to replicate. She loved playing Scrabble with her buddies at Glenhaven Gardens, where she was lovingly referred to as “Boots” because she had several favorite pairs of boots that she wore every day.
In addition to her love for family and children, she was known for her one-of-a-kind sense of humor. Even when extremely ill and weak, she would cause those visiting her to laugh. It just came naturally to her. She taught us all about unconditional love and what is important in life. We who love her will try to carry those lessons on — this will be her legacy.
Marilyn will be greatly missed by her children, William Lawrence, Judy (Lawrence) McGill and husband, Butch McGill, and Joseph Lawrence; her grandchildren Tiffany (Smith) Plank and husband, Jeremy Plank, Cody and Jacob Lawrence, Willie, Nikki, Annika, and Bekka Lawrence, Joe McGill and wife, Kelli (Woods) McGill, and Kristi McGill (fiance Jeff Andria); her great-grandchildren, Logan Plank and Elle and Paisley McGill; a sister, Shirley (Shoemaker) Barnett and husband, Charles Barnett; a brother, Larry Shoemaker and wife, Jennie Shoemaker; and several nieces and nephews, Carol Ehlke, Barb Buck, Jeri Dietz, Steve Rogier, Dean Shoemaker, Brad Shoemaker, and Lane Shoemaker.
Marilyn loved Jesus and is celebrating new life, breath and health with Him today. She rejoined loved ones who went to Heaven before her, including her parents, Joseph and Opal Shoemaker and a granddaughter, Jennifer Smith, whom we have no doubt greeted her with open arms when she arrived in Heaven.
In celebration of her life, memorial visitation will be from 1 p.m. until time of memorial services at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at Abundant Life Community Church Wood River Campus. The Rev. Mark Palenske and the Rev. Roy Rhodes will officiate. Private inurnment will be at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.
Memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of her granddaughter, Jennifer Smith. Online guestbook available at www.pitchfordfuneralhome.com.