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Dorothy E. Laurence

Dorothy E. Laurence, poet and teacher, died peacefully at her home on February 1, 2011. She was seventy-four years old.

Born in Melrose, to Victor and Dorothy Thomas, Dorothy spent her early years in Salem, and was a member of the Salem High School Class of 1954. She remained in close contact throughout her life with a group of her classmates, some of whom she’d known since kindergarten. She earned a BS in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and a M.Ed in Counseling, all from Salem State College. A teacher and administrator in the Haverhill school system for many years, she was Director of the Early Childhood Center when she retired in 2000. Dorothy was especially devoted to underprivileged families, and helped to start a “Breakfast Club” to ensure school children had breakfast and help with their schoolwork. She was also instrumental in developing “Los Amigos” at the ECC, a program that integrated kindergarten children for whom English was a second language.

 An accomplished poet, Dorothy was founder of the Ipswich Poetry Group, former Chair of the Ipswich Cultural Council, and a participant for many years in the Fine Arts Work Center’s Summer Workshop program.  She was active in politics and environmental conservation, a member of the Ipswich Democratic Town Committee and of several environmental organizations. A dancer in her teens and twenties, she taught for a time at the Arthur Murray studios in Boston. She also enjoyed hiking, kayaking, bird-watching, star-gazing, and traveling. Her grandchildren treasured their visits to her home, eager for the adventures she promised. The words of one granddaughter echo Dorothy’s outlook on life: “I wonder what we shall do today!” 
Dorothy cherished her family above all else. She leaves her daughter Dorothy Antczak; son David Antczak, his wife Patrice and their children Michael and Allison; son Andrew Antczak, his wife Karen and their children Matthew Kimball, Amanda and Andrew, Jr.; son Matthew Antczak and his wife Lily; son Nathan Antczak, his wife Tracy and their children Olivia and Katherine; daughter-in-law Wendy Laurence and her children Jacqueline and Kristen; stepson John Laurence and his children Ian and Heather; stepson Craig, his wife Marie and their children Abigail and Benjamin; her sister Victoria Talbot; godsons Paul Talbot, Jr. and David Audesse; several nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren; and a multitude of loved ones. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Leonard John Laurence, her stepson Lee Laurence, and her sister Suzanne MacDonald. She was able to stay in her home throughout her illness thanks to a dear group of friends including Maggie Norbert, Marianne and Christine Cellucci, Marcie Armstrong, Jill Herrick-Lee, Sarah Vickery, and Sam Sherman. 

Funeral services will be private. Arrangements are by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial contributions in her name to The ALS Association,320 Norwood Park S, 2nd Floor, Norwood, MA 02062 (info@als-ma.org), the Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923 (info@hns.org), the Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606 (www.nature.org), or to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, 24 Pearl Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 (www.FAWC.org)

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