Sophie Elizabeth (Betty) Lawrence | Obituary



Sophie Elizabeth (Betty) Lawrence, 84, of 1201 Jewell Dr., Watertown, NY, died on September 30, 2021 at Samaritan Medical Center.

She was born December 3, 1936 in Lyons Falls, NY, daughter of Joseph E. and Elizabeth (Toth) Lustyik. Sophie graduated from Port Leyden Central School in 1954 as a valedictorian. She graduated from the State University of New York at Albany, where she obtained her Master of Science in Library Science. Sophie was a school librarian at Port Leyden Central School until 1968. She then joined the staff at Lowville Academy and Central School, where she completed the remainder of her career as a high school librarian. / specialist in multimedia education until her retirement in 1992. During her teaching career, she attended courses at Syracuse University and obtained a scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota.

Throughout her career, Sophie has been involved and held positions in many professional organizations, such as NYSTA, NEA, ALA, NYLA and NCTEA. She was a member and secretary of the Lewis County Teachers Association, chair and chair of the local PTA committee, served for two years on the board of trustees of St. Peter’s School in Lowville, was a leader for Local Cubs and was president of Lowville Youth Hockey. Sophie wrote a research paper in sociology accepted by the Congress of Social Sciences, as well as a poem published in the National Anthology. Sophie also exhibited a painting at the Munson-Williams Procter Arts Institute. She volunteered at the Henderson Harbor, NY Yacht Club and was Communicator at Queen of Heaven Church in Henderson, NY and St. Peter’s Church in Lowville, NY.

Sophie married Karl C. Lawrence on July 8, 1967 at St. Martin’s Church in Port Leyden, NY. She and Karl resided in Lowville, NY and had a summer cottage in Stony Point, NY. In 1993, they moved to Rural Hall, North Carolina. Karl died at their home in North Carolina on March 31, 2011. They were married for 43 years. In October 2017, Sophie returned to New York State and resided at the Lodge at Ives Hill in Watertown, where she was an active member of the Residents Association committee.

Among her survivors are her beloved children, Stephen (Michelle) Lawrence, Henderson Harbor, NY and Sophia (Thaddeus) Woronowicz, Hamburg, NY; two grandchildren, Sophie and Ava Lawrence; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Joanne (Graham) Johnston and Carol Lustyik.

Arrangements are with Hart & Bruce Funeral Home. It was Sophie’s wish to be cremated and the services will take place at the family’s convenience.

Donations can be made to WPBS-TV, 1056 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601, or the Port Leyden Public Library, 3145 Canal Street, Port Leyden, NY 13433.

Online condolences can be made at



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