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MARLBOROUGH – Bernadette M. (Lilley) Lawrence, 87, departed this earth on Friday April 10, 2020 at Marlboro Hospital after bravely battling a long illness.

She joins her husband John A. Lawrence, who died in 2012. 

The third of 14 children, she was born, raised and educated in Westborough, the daughter of the late James and Madaline (Despres) Lilley.

She was a 1950 graduate of Westborough High School.

A resident of Marlboro for the past 42 years, Bernadette worked as a bookkeeper for New England Tape Company in Hudson for 32 years before retiring in 1998. 

Throughout her life she was devoted to family and friends, a firm believer in charity and kindness toward others. She also enjoyed gambling, (especially slots), shopping, dining out, reading, and spoiling her grandchildren.

She leaves behind two sons, John A. Lawrence, Jr. of Brookfield and David J. Lawrence of Marlborough; three brothers, Tom Lilley of Leicester, Joe Lilley of Napa, CA and David Lilley of Idaho; four sisters, Madeline Stoskus of Leicester, Gloria Loader of Millbury, Kathleen Conner of San Jose, CA and Patricia Lilley of Reno, NV; three grandchildren, Rebecca, Michelle and Nicholas; five great grandchildren; and dozens of nieces and nephews. Her son Michael P. Lawrence of Grafton died in 2015.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in San Jose, California, which will be her final resting place.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Stroke Foundation.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Collins Funeral Home, 378 Lincoln Street, Marlborough.

To leave an online condolence, please visit Bernadette’s online guestbook at


By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.