April 1, 2010

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Joy Allyn Lawrence, environmental manager

Joy Allyn Lawrence, 56, a member of the administrative staff at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, died March 20 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at her home in West Mt. Airy.

At the time of her death, Ms. Lawrence was program manager for environmental initiatives at PHS.

During her tenure at PHS, she was instrumental in transforming Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties, Cliveden Park in East Mt. Airy and Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia into ecologically sound storm water management landscapes.

She also was involved in tree planting at Fernhill Park in Germantown under the state’s TreeVitalization program, in the greening of Pulaski Park in Port Richmond and in the restoration of foliage and wildlife habitat along the central Delaware River.

Locally, she had been a consultant to Springside School for its Rain Garden project.

Praising Ms. Lawrence’s “passion and commitment,” Joan Reilly, senior director for PHS’ Philadelphia Green Program, said she had “a gift to see the big picture.”

“She understood the web of connections needed to make a city – a region – a planet – whole and sustainable,” Reilly said. “We’ll be sad to lose her, but we are filled with gratitude for all that she did for our organization.”

Ms. Lawrence studied English and theater at Marietta College and Cleveland State University, and received a master’s degree in Shakespeare from the California Institute of the Arts.

She directed fringe theater productions in Seattle and New York, where she had previously lived, then moved to the Pocono area of Pennsylvania. While pursuing an interest in organic gardening, she discovered a deep passion for environmental stewardship.

Moving to Philadelphia, she studied conservation ecology and held positions with the Delaware River Keepers and the Morris Arboretum before joining PHS in 2002.

Ms. Lawrence is survived by her wife, Dr. Bettina B Lesser; a daughter, Anya Jaye Simone Lawrence Lesser; her parents, James M. Lawrence of Cape Coral, Fla., and Josephine T. Davis of Olmstead Township, Ohio; a sister, Lynn Hall of Fort Wayne, Ind., and a brother, Kelly Lawrence of Seattle, Wash.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Anya Lesser Education Fund #6209587740 at Citizens Bank, 8815 Germantown Ave., 19B, Philadelphia, PA 19118, or the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Foundation, 321 Norristown Rd., Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002.


INGERSOLL, Patricia S. (nee Royce), 73, of Spring House, died Thursday, March 25, 2010 at The Artman Home in Ambler, PA. Daughter of George Alan and Frances (Edmonds) Royce, she was a member of  the board of the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery.  Mrs. Ingersoll was also a member of the Welcome Society of Pennslyvania through her ancestor, Samuel Allen, who arrived in Bucks County in 1681 on the first of William Penn’s fleet of 23 ships.  She was the author of a pictorial history of Lower Gwynedd Township published for the Centennial celebration in 1991.  She is survived by two sons: J. Reed Ingersoll, Jr., of San Francisco and Richard S. (Danna) Ingersoll of Erdenheim. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19132 for restoration purposes.  Memorial Services were held on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at the Church of the Messiah, Sumneytown Pike & Route 202 in Gwynedd, PA.  Interment at Whitemarsh Memorial PArk in Horsham, PA. Arrangements by BRINGHURST FUNERAL HOME AT WEST LAUREL HILL CEMETERY.






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