Obituary for Julie Anne Lawler (Amersbach)
Julie Anne Amersbach Lawler of Wellesley died on March 9, 2018 at the age of 82, after fighting and winning a 14-year battle with emphysema. Julie was surrounded by many loved ones and is survived by her seven children: John (Susan) Lawler IV of South Orange, NJ, Amy (Tom O’Neill) of Sherborn, Joseph (Jane) Lawler of Winchester, Martha (Rick Ropelewski) of Newton, Matthew (Mara) Lawler of Hoboken, NJ, Maura Lawler of Needham, and Tina (John McHugh) of Needham (born in the backseat of the family station wagon). She is also survived by her brother Joseph Amersbach, Jr., of Rocky River, Ohio, 18 adoring grandchildren: Madeleine, Jack, Nick, and Sam Lawler; Grace and Fiona O’Neill; Julia, Clare, Joseph, and Ava Lawler; Molly and Peter Ropelewski; Lily and Matilda Lawler; Youssef Karradi; Lucy, Jack, and Brendan McHugh; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Julie was pre-deceased by her beloved husband of 50 years, John Aloysius III, her parents Joseph and Imogene Amersbach of Ohio, and sisters Beatrice Downey (Ohio) and Lynn Gardner (New Jersey).
Born in New York City, Julie was a graduate of Marymount School in New York City and Rosemont College in Rosemont, PA, where she majored in Spanish, appeared in several productions, and was president of the Honor Society and the Glee Club. She encouraged artistic appreciation in her children, yielding numerous enthusiastic amateur performers, one legitimate professional actor, and many budding stars in the youngest generation.
Julie’s vivid descriptions of her early life on a farm in rustic Connecticut, followed by glamorous Manhattan, the shores of Cleveland, and travels to Mexico revealed her adventurous spirit and ever-present inquisitiveness. An avid reader, news watcher, and lover of old movies, Julie never ceased to amaze with her grasp of literature, culture, and unique interpretations of current events. In her last days, she was determined to complete the reading of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Beyond simply persevering through her last 14 years of declining health, Julie maintained her tireless work ethic, sharp wit, and loving spirit. She remained deeply devoted to her family, never missing a birthday or anniversary, and being the “calm in the storm” during Lawlerpalooza events, including vacations on the Cape. She always offered patience, good humor, a friendly ear, and much wisdom.
The yin to her husband John’s yang, Julie enthusiastically supported family moves, career changes, and all manner of twists and turns of life. Notably, she served as the “Mariano Rivera” of his crossword puzzle obsession, often providing answers to the most difficult clues.
Julie was an active parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Church in Wellesley Hills for over 45 years as well as a longtime member of Woodland Golf Club. She served in many capacities and remained an enthusiastic supporter of Learning Prep School, Newton Country Day School, and Saint Sebastian‘s School.
Julie’s family is indebted to her many dedicated caregivers, most notably Dr. Thomas Fry, Kelly Connolly and her aides from Advantage Nursing Care.
Friends of Julie remember her elegance, graciousness, and kindness. Everyone was welcome in her home and in her presence.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, March 17th at 10AM in St. John the Evangelist Church, 9 Glen Rd. Wellesley, followed by interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellesley. Visiting hours are 4-7PM on Friday, March 16th at the Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington Street, Wellesley. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mrs. Lawler’s memory may be made to the American Lung Association at lung.org