Lawlor, Viola Foss

Viola Foss Lawlor

Born: December 22, 1892 – Canada
Died: November 9, 1970 – Los Angeles

Viola Foss Lawlor was the founder of the Professional Children’s School in Hollywood, California, which later changed its name to the Lawlor Professional School. Lawlor Professional School, under the Directorship of Minnie Ethel Bessire, became the Mar-Ken School.

Mrs. Lawlor was married to John J. Lawlor, who was born in New York on 7 August 1909 and died in Santa Cruz California on 2 February 1989. He was the Los Angeles Freight and Passenger Representative for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

They had a daughter, Muriel (Elaine Hammond) who was a musician and known professionally as “The Banjo Girl.” The family lived at 823 Laurel Avenue, Hollywood.

Also see Mrs. Lawlor in the 1935 class photos.

From the Nov. 19, 1936 Lawlor Journal: NO POLITICS IN SCHOOL! A few days ago, two of our reporters were busily engaged in getting the student of the study hall to give their opinions of the presidential candidates. When the reporters were in the height of their inquiring in walked “Mom” Lawlor, saying: “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Then she told the rest of the study hall that some things are barred from discussion at the school. These things are politics and religion. Abide by her wishes, and you will be on your way to success in Lawlor’s. -Catherine Kennedy. From The Lawlor Journal; February 11, 1937: WELCOME BACK, “MOM”! Mrs Viola F. Lawlor, founder and director of our school, has recovered from her siege of the “Flu” and is back with us, looking better than ever. Her daughter “Muriel” took her place and very nicely too. Glad you’re back again Mrs. Lawlor, but please, please, keep well.