Obituary: Elizabeth Lawlor
Elizabeth “Beth” Mary Lawlor was born Jan. 27, 1967. A lifelong Greenwich resident, she was a star student-athlete during her time at Greenwich High School. After graduating in 1985, Beth earned a full scholarship to attend Providence College where she was a starting forward for the Lady Friars basketball team and later competed in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament before graduating in 1989. Shortly after starting her teaching career she enrolled in a program of graduate studies at Fairfield University that led to the completion of a Master’s in Education in teaching students with special needs. Simultaneous to her hiring as a special education teacher at Rippowam Middle School in Stamford, Beth also began her career as a coach of the field hockey and basketball teams – roles she performed with great success during her 10+ years of leadership.
Considered an institution at Rippowam Middle School, Beth was a leader within the Special Education team. She fostered decades long connections with peers and students alike. She gave of her time as both a union representative and an assistant to various athletic teams. Her colleagues and administrators will remember her as a person of unwavering dependability and kindness whose calm demeanor and penchant for levity could defuse even the most stressful situations.
To her family Beth was a beloved daughter, sister, and aunt. She devoted years of her life to the care of her parents, William and Grace – William until his passing in 2005 and Grace until she passed in 2014. On any given afternoon Beth could usually be found walking around Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich. She would walk for miles around the park regardless of the season, often accompanied by a sister, brother, or niece. She played tennis and frequently cared for the children of her nieces and nephews during her free time. Beth was never one to sit still for long; an early riser, she would usually wake before sunrise and arrive early to work where she enjoyed being able work in solitude before the halls filled with students.
Elizabeth Lawlor is survived by her siblings and their immediate families: Eldest sibling, Margery Tymula and her husband Ronald, their daughter Abigail Miranda, son-in law Joseph, and grandson Levi, and youngest child Matthew Tymula; sister Grace Woytowicz and husband John, their daughters Kate Suscovich, son-in-law John, and granddaughter Mabel, youngest daughter Erin O’Brien and son-in-law Joe, and grandchildren Adam and Grace; brother William Lawlor III and his partner Leann Vadala; brother Patrick Lawlor, his sons Liam and Aiden and their mother Sara; and youngest brother Thomas Lawlor, his partner Eileen Finn, and her daughters Kaitlin and Bridget Melsenti.
Elizabeth Lawlor was a pillar of communities in both Greenwich and Stamford. As probably the greatest tribute to a life well-lived, almost everyone who knew and loved Beth has spent the last week asking themselves, “What are we going to do without her?” May she rest in peace.
Calling hours will take place Thursday, Dec. 6 from 3 to 7 p.m., at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 31 Arch St. A memorial mass will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, Elizabeth’s family is asking that people make contributions to Kids in Crisis in Cos Cob.