John Thomas Lawrence, Jr., 74
Mass of Christian BurialVisitationJohn Thomas Lawrence, Jr., 74 of Drayden, Maryland, passed away peacefully on Christmas morning in his home surrounded by his loving family. Known to everyone as Tom, he was born in Washington, D.C. on November 23, 1938 to the late John Thomas Lawrence and Mary Louise Michael Lawrence.
A native Washingtonian and Phi Kappa fraternity member, Tom graduated from Catholic University in 1960 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His 45 years of government service began before graduation with summers spent at the Army Map Service. Following graduation, he accepted a position at the Naval Ordinance Lab in White Oak, Maryland working with sounding rockets and then a position at NASA. While exciting jobs, they were not his ideal. His passion was airplanes and his dream job was ultimately fulfilled when he began work at Naval Air Systems Command. Recognized as a leader in his field, he was inducted as an Esteemed Fellow into the Naval Air Systems Command Research and Engineering Fellows Program and was also a recipient of the Aviation Week and Space Technology 2000 Laurels Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Aeronautics/Propulsion. After retirement from the federal government, Tom continued his aviation career as a consultant with Wyle.
Tom's accomplishments were present outside his career, as well. In 1980, he ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing with a time of 4:41:52. When running was no longer his best choice, he opted to use a rowing machine. On the back porch of their home and overlooking the St. Mary's River, he rowed 10,000,000+ meters - more than 6,200 miles. Tom was a regular blood donor with the American Red Cross and over the years donated 97 units of blood - more than 12 gallons. Upon moving to St. Mary's County fifteen years ago, Tom embraced his new community and was a member of the Historic St. Mary's Foundation Board.
However, Tom's love and admiration of his family surpassed all his accomplishments. His love and dedication to his wife of 52 years, Joan Murdock Lawrence, was an inspiration to anyone in their presence. His two children, Christopher Steven Lawrence and Dana Maureen Ragghianti, were blessed with unconditional love, guidance, and encouragement. His five grandchildren, Matthew Thomas Ragghianti, Charlotte Marie Lawrence, Meghan Ann Ragghianti, Casey Marie Ragghianti, and Katherine Audrey Lawrence, experienced an extraordinary model of family, love, caring, and commitment. His love was returned many times over.
In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Tom is survived by his three brothers and their wives, James and Frances Lawrence, Michael and Cynthia Lawrence, and Paul and Lenore Lawrence; his daughter-in-law Jeanne Lawrence; and son-in-law Adolph Ragghianti.
A visitation will be held on Monday, December 31, 2012 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Holy Face Catholic Church, 20408 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills, MD 20634. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Reverend Joseph A. Calis at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in the Holy Face Church Cemetery. A repast will be provided by the Ladies of Holy Face Church in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of St. Mary's, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.
Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, Md.