— Julie Marie Wojtkowski Lawrence, 56, of Manchester, VT, died tragically on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Lowell Lake in Londonderry, VT. She drowned trying to rescue her five year old grandson, Jaxon Leo Lawrence. Jaxon passed away two days later surrounded by his family. Julie was born in Pittsfield, MA to Conrad Wojtkowski Sr. and Frances Clement on April 30, 1962. Julie graduated from Taconic High School in 1980 before continuing her education at Boston College.
Education and Work
During her junior year at Boston College, Julie joined the Army’s ROTC Program. After graduating, she enlisted in the Army, trained in nursing, making the rank of Captain. In 1988 she was honorably discharged. Julie and her first husband, Robert Rhodes, who was still in the Army, raised their family around the world. In 2002, Julie settled in Vermont and continued her nursing career at Rutland Regional Medical Center. During her time at RRMC, Julie worked as an RN in the ICU, PCU, Emergency Department, and most recently, Diagnostic Imaging. In 2014, Julie met the love of her life, Brian Lawrence, and the two married on July 11, 2015. Together, Julie and Brian enjoyed rides on their motorcycle, stopping at flea markets, visiting friends and exploring Vermont and beyond.
They took pleasure in camping with family and friends, making memories around the camp fire. Julie was a very active person and loved the outdoors. Hiking and snowshoeing with her dogs, kayaking in the summer, as well as skiing seriously fast in the winter were some of her favorite past times. Julie was always up for an adventure, never deterred by weather conditions. She was definitely tougher than most. Julie was an all-around talented person who enjoyed creating hand painted wooden crafts. Most recently, she had learned the craft of fused glass. She made beautiful jewelry, dishes, frames, in addition to night lights sharing them with family and friends. Julie Marie Lawrence was an avid baker/pie maker, filling many bellies and many hearts. For the past 16 years, Julie participated in a book club, reading every book.
A Joy to be around
A great sense of humor permeated Julie Marie Lawrence. She brought joy wherever she went and made lifelong friends around the world. Her reach was far and wide. Julie was a blessing and will be missed by all who knew her.
Julie Marie Lawrence was predeceased by her son, Gregory Joseph Rhodes, on October 28, 1994; a brother, Conrad R. Wojtkowski Jr., on November 11, 2016; her mother-in-law, Helen J. Lawrence, on June 3, 2017; and a nephew, Nicholas M. Wojtkowski, on April 13, 2018. Julie is survived by her parents, Conrad and Frances Wojtkowski; her beloved husband, Brian Lawrence; her father-in-law, Leo E. Lawrence; her children, Steven, Christopher, and Matthew Rhodes and Jacob and Brittany Lawrence; her grandchildren, Bryson, Carter, Noah, Aiden, and Ava; her siblings, Michael Wojtkowski (Debra), Lisa A. Brown (Jeffrey), Victoria W. Johnson (Chris); her nieces, Michelle Bartels (Alex), Audrey Wojtkowski, Freja Wojtkowski; nephews, Corey Bassett, Adrien Wojtkowski (Julia), Odin and Wrex Wojtkowski awa well as great nieces, Madelyn Bartels and Sydney Wojtkowski.
A celebration of Julie’s life took place Saturday July 28, 2018 at 2pm at Brewster-Shea Funeral Home 34 Park Place Manchester Center, VT. Visiting hours at the funeral home happened on Friday July 27, 2018 from 5-7pm. Make Memorial Gifts in Julie’s memory to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, c/o Brewster-Shea Funeral Home P.O. Box 885 Manchester Center, VT 05255. The family entrusted arrangements to the care of Brewster-Shea Funeral Home 34 Park Place Manchester Center, VT.