My 3rd great-grandmother, Ann (Kitely) Lawrence was 92 years old when she passed away on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1927. My grandmother was 3 and a half years old when Ann passed away, and was one of 35 great-grandchildren. Ann sounds like quite a remarkable woman. Much of what I know about her is from her two-page obituary, which is transcribed below.
PIONEER IS SUMMONED
Mrs. Ann Lawrence Passes Away Sunday At Home of Daughter at Sycamore
SICK FEW DAYS
Mrs. Ann Lawrence, 92, passed away Easter Sunday, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Simpson, 641 South avenue, Sycamore after but a day or two of serious illness. Mrs. Lawrence has been in poor health for many years, but was possessed of that spirit of never give up which is so predominant among the older generation today. While she has suffered intensely at times, her only expression would be “Oh, Dear.”
Mrs. Lawrence, whose maiden name was Ann Kitely, was born in Wesson, Warwickshire, England, April 12, 1835. She came to the United States when 17 years of age. She was married to William H. Lawrence at Salina, New York, March 28, 1859. Shortly after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence moved to DeKalb, where they resided until Mr. Lawrence passed away in 1901. A short time later, the bereaved widow moved to Sycamore to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. Simpson.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence became the parents of six children but two of them surviving. Those who have preceded her in death are Fanny, who passed away in infancy, William, who died at Dixon a number of years ago, Henry L. passed away at Rochester, Minn., in 1913, and another daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Banks died in 1900. There are surviving a daughter, Mrs. Mary Simpson with whom the deceased had lived for many years, and a son, Tom Lawrence, of Cortland. There are 23 grand children and 35 great grand children. Among the grandchildren are Mrs. Harold Sandstrom of Sycamore, and the great grand children, the children of Mr. and Ms. Sandstrom, who will miss their grandparent more than words can tell.
Was Remarkable Woman
Mrs. Lawrence was a wonderful woman. Up until Saturday she was up and around the house as usual, and as spry as anyone would be 50 years younger. She assisted in the work about the house, and read the daily papers with every precision, starting on the first page and going through the entire paper. She loved her grand children and great grand children, and welcomed them at every opportunity. She was a typical home woman of the old school — loved her family with all the love possible, and these immediate relatives are grieved that she has passed away.
The deceased also has another distinction, which probably no other living woman in this locality has. During the war of 1861 following the enlistment of her husband with the 14th New York Infantry, she knitted socks and sweaters for the Union soldiers. When the world war broke out, she again plied the knitting needles as deftly as in the early days and made many sweaters and socks for the boys in the service.
She was also one of the most charitable women, p[e]ople of this vicinity ever knew. In the early days of hardships, Mrs. Lawrence was never heard to complain. If she met those who were in distress, she would give of everything she had to assist those who perhaps were not in as serious difficulties as she might have been at the time.
Member of W.R.C. [Women’s Relief Corps]
She was a member of the W. R. C. of this city and up until the last day of her illness, was able to recognize the members as they called to see her. Her 92 years of life have been most remarkable, and an example that the present generation might use as an example profitably.
Several months ago, when she suffered a relapse, she gave her daughter, Mrs. Simpson, instructions as to her last services. She furnished the relatives with the data concerning her life, and also purchased her shroud. Saturday she suffered another relapse, and became seriously ill. She was ordered to bed by the family physician and she seemed to become reconciled to the fact that she had served her time on this earth. She lapsed into a coma from which she failed to rally.
The funeral services will be held at the home of her daughter in Sycamore Tuesday afternoon at 2:30. Rev. H.S. Roblee of the Federated church of that city will be in charge of the last rites. The internment will be in Oakwood cemetery on North First street.
This obituary appeared in The De Kalb Daily Chronicle, Monday April 18, 1927 on pages 1 and 3. Image from Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection.