Sophie Elizabeth “Betty” Lawrence, 84, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Sophie Elizabeth (Betty) Lawrence, 84, of 1201 Jewell Dr., Watertown, NY, passed away on Sept. 30, 2021, at the Samaritan Medical Center.

She was born on Dec. 3, 1936, in Lyons Falls, NY, daughter of Joseph E. and Elizabeth (Toth) Lustyik. Sophie graduated from Port Leyden Central School in 1954 as the class Valedictorian. She was a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where she earned her Masters of Science Degree in Library Science.

Sophie was a school librarian at Port Leyden Central School until 1968. She later joined the staff at Lowville Academy and Central School, where she completed the remainder of her career as the High School Librarian/Multimedia Education Specialist until her retirement in 1992. During her teaching career she took classes at Syracuse University and was awarded a grant to attend the University of Minnesota.

Throughout Sophie’s career she was involved and held offices in many professional organizations, such as NYSTA, NEA, ALA, NYLA, and NCTEA. She was a member and Secretary of the Lewis County Teachers Association, President and Committee Chair for the local PTA, served two years on the Board of Education at St. Peter’s School in Lowville, was a Den Leader for local Cub Scouts, and was President of Lowville Youth Hockey. Sophie wrote a Sociology research paper accepted by the Congress of Social Sciences, as well as a poem published in the National Anthology. Sophie also had a painting exhibited in Munson-Williams Procter Arts Institute. She volunteered at the Henderson Harbor, NY Yacht Club and was a Communicant 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 on Stony Point, NY. In 1993, they moved to Rural Hall, NC. Karl passed away at their home in North Carolina on March 31, 2011. They were married for 43 years. In October 2017, Sophie moved back 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 the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home.

It was Sophie’s wish to be cremated and services will be held at the convenience of the family.

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

Online condolences may be made at