Maureen Lawter (née O’Connell), of Peekskill, NY died at the New York State Veterans’ Home on October 20, 2019. She was 92 years old.
Maureen is survived by her children, James Lawter (Eddie Holmes) of Vancouver, BC, Canada, Mary Eileen Lawter of Worcester, MA, John Lawter of NY, NY, David Lawter (Eileen Burns) of Peekskill, NY and one granddaughter Katie Lawter of Atlanta, GA. She was predeceased by her daughter Cathy (1957), brothers Charles, Philip (Rita) and Arthur (Dolores) O’Connell and her former husband James Lawter. She was also predeceased by her parents Charles and Isabel (Reddy) O’Connell of Peekskill. She is survived by her sister-in-law Laura Lee O’Connell and many nieces and nephews.
Maureen was born on March 5, 1927 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She graduated with honors from the Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in Brooklyn. After high school she entered the Fashion Institute of Technology, to learn millinery, in the first few years of the school’s founding. She worked at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue as a competitive shopper. Seeking a challenge, she entered a course of nurses’ training and moved from there to enlist in the United States Navy in January of 1951 to continue training as a nurse and as an air traffic controller.
Maureen met and married James Lawter in December 1951. She was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1952 to devote her time to being a wife and mother. As a Navy wife she raised five children in Florida, Virginia, Maryland, California, New York, Washington State and the Philippines. Maureen worked at Peekskill City Court, Standard Brands, for the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, and Vera Fashion Design, among other jobs. At the time of her retirement in the early 90s she went to work as a resident assistant at Cor Mariea in NYC, a shelter for homeless women operated by the Good Shepherd Sisters. She was also a lay associate for the Good Shepherd Sisters in NYC and the Peekskill Franciscan Sisters.
In addition to her accomplishments as a mother and charity worker, she was an amateur actress, talented seamstress, artist, poet, cook, baker, cake decorator, crafter, and needle-crafter. She was the member of two choirs at Graymoor in Garrison and traveled to Jamaica, the Netherlands, Germany and many parts of the U.S.
Having been of 100% Irish decent she was registered as an Irish citizen in the Foreign Births Entry Book in 1995.
Maureen passed away peacefully after suffering with dementia for the several years. She will be remembered as a loving mother, devoted Catholic and a generous and cheerful soul.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, October 25th at 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Curry & Giordano Funeral Home, 313 North James Street, Peekskill, NY 10566, with a funeral service on Saturday, October 26th at 10:00 a.m. at the Church of the Assumption, 131 Union Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566.
In lieu of flowers friends may donate to the Peekskill Franciscan Sisters Roof Repair Fund. Contributions in Maureen’s memory may be sent to Sister Laura Morgan, Mount Saint Francis, 250 South Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.