January 4, 1921 – July 1, 2018
Anna Lawson was born on January 4, 1921, to Anthony and Mary Miller in New York City. Together with her younger sister, Elizabeth, the family lived on the lower east side of Manhattan along with much of their extended family. She was especially cherished by her grandmother, who Anna idolized and adored – and with whom she spent many a day at the silent movie theatre. Her parents operated a bar a grill – which during prohibition was a speakeasy.
Anna took full advantage of all the activities available to her as she grew up in the City. She often spoke of skating in Central Park, watching the boys play stickball in the street, eating grapes from the food carts, and she fondly recalled trips to the shore for the beach and sunbathing.
She attended school in the City and made a wonderful group of friends, with whom she kept in contact through much of her life. Those friends along with her cousins formed a tight-knit group who held costume parties, summer picnics, and her much-loved, “coffee and” afternoons – where the boys would bring the coffee and the girls would bring the sweets!
Anna had an artistic soul – she played piano (at the express desire of her Grandfather – who was a respected violinist), she drew with pencil and charcoal, she painted with oils and water colors, and she could create beautiful dresses and other clothing as an accomplished seamstress.
During World War II, Anna went to work and learned new skills to help with the war effort at home. Her sister married a sailor named Bill whose ship took port in NYC for repairs and medical care. On a trip that changed her life forever, Anna visited Bill in the hospital with her sister where she met a handsome young man who was a friend of Bill’s – he had sparkling blue eyes and he was sitting on the nurse’s desk. One of her fondest memories was the moment she first saw her Jimmy – who became the love of her life. She was always proud to tell the story of how they met and his pronouncement to her when his ship left port to return to the War – “When the war is over, I’m coming back to marry you, Anna!” He did return, and they were married April 27, 1946.
James and Anna lived around the City before moving to Holtsville in Long Island with their two children – James and Mary Ann. Anna cared for their children while James drove long-distance hauls as a truck driver – she kept the household and maintained a happy home for James on each of his returns. At times, Anna worked as a bookkeeper and office assistant in several businesses – she always took pride in her work and was well liked and loved by her colleagues.
Anna and James retired to Lehigh Acres, Florida. With each passing year, they celebrated holidays, birthdays, and other milestones with family and friends who lived close and far. Anna was known to always have something cooking in the kitchen and enjoyed doing crafts and watching movies on television. At all times they had pets – who Anna enjoyed immensely. She loved tending to her finches and of course to their dogs over the years – Platter, Peanuts, Pebbles, and finally Poppy.
Anna was afflicted with dementia in her later years, but James’ unending love for her was evident as he took care of her on his own until they moved together to their daughter’s home in 2014. They often could be found holding hands while sitting together on the sofa. Anna always loved westerns, and her hero – John Wayne – proved good entertainment for her in the later years of her life.
In April of 2016, Anna and James celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Sadly, a few short months later, in September of 2016, James passed away and the loss was devastating for Anna. She held tightly to her photo of him for many months following his passing.
Anna Lawson is survived by her son James, daughter-in-law Frissie, grandson James and step granddaughters Diane, Bonnie, and Robin; by her daughter Mary Ann, granddaughter Alyssa, and step grandsons James and David, and by her many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her loving husband, James, her parents, and son-in-law. She leaves behind memories of her gentle spirit, all-encompassing love for her husband, and her well-known sweet tooth. She endured a lengthy battle with dementia and showed the many who loved her that while memories may fail, love that is cultivated over a lifetime never does. She will be dearly missed by so many.
Arrangements under the direction of Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park, Fort Myers, FL.
- Visitation Saturday, July 7, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, July 7, 2018