World War II Years

World War II brought building restrictions and wartime shortages. The fact that Utica was mainly a farming community kept people close to home and involved in parish functions. Parish families anxiously waited for news about their husbands, fathers, sons and other loved ones serving in the armed forces. School children participated in scrap metal and war bond drives. A Minute Man flag was awarded to St. Lawrence School because 90 percent of the children contributed to the war bond fund. As a fitting tribute to our men in service, a wooden commemorative plaque was made, listing the names of all the parishioners who served in the armed forces with a bronze star next the names of those who died while serving their country: Henry Biermann, Albert Crinella, Benjamin Reiss, Michael Schuster, Donald Vanker and Frank Coeman.

Stringent rules and priorities affected building growth. Schoolrooms were badly needed, but no permit could be obtained. By chance, Father DeKeyser read a newspaper article offering for sale two portable buildings, one 30 x 90 ft. and the other 24 x 80 ft. Acquired, moved into place beside the school and renovated, these buildings made available seven additional classrooms in September, 1943.