Local Obits

Obituary of Alice Frail Lawson

Alice was born to Dr. Hugh Frail and Margaret Frail of Marathon, New York on October 6, 1937. Her early education was in Marathon Central School. In 1949, the family moved to Cortland, New York where she attended junior high and high school. She was a cheerleader, on the gym team, and helped edit the yearbook.​

​At Middlebury College in Vermont she earned her B.A. in French. Having received her M.A. in Education at Harvard University, she continued studying at the Sorbonne in Paris obtaining her M.A. in French.​
​While teaching in Massachusetts, she met her future husband Gilbert Lawson and married in 1962.They moved to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.Opposed to racial segregation, she joined a fair housing group in her neighborhood. Alice continued her teaching career at private schools, such as: Cathedral, Roycemore, and North Shore Country Day. She was employed by Old Orchard Junior High for twenty years.

Gilbert and Alice had three daughters: Lorrie, Robin, and Kristin. Her interests included: tennis, swimming, hiking, knitting, Scrabble, and word puzzles as well as traveling with her family. Alice and Gilbert enjoyed visiting Hawaii, New Orleans, and Civil War sites. Alice became a widow in 1997.

​Alice decided to retire back to Cortland, New York. She joined an environmental group opposed to hydrofracking. For many years, she volunteered teaching sixth graders Latin, helping them improve their English. Alice loved all the animals in her area, especially dogs, and continued to support many four-legged charities.

​Her father said of her, “She wears life lightly, like a cloak.” Until recently, Alice had received excellent care at the Northwoods Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Moravia, New York where she passed quietly in her sleep on April 10, 2024.

​Alice was predeceased by her parents, her husband and eldest daughter, Lorrie Lawson. She is survived by her elder sister Catherine Frail and daughters Robin Lawson and Kristin Lawson.

Arrangements under the direction of Riccardi Funeral Home, Cortland,NY

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