A Mass of the Resurrection for J. Allen Lawrence, a retired head chef at the Limestone Valley Dinner Theater who had specialized in seafood in a number of Baltimore restaurant kitchens, will be offered at 9 a.m. today at the Roman Catholic Church of the Crucifixion, 100 Scott Ave., Glen Burnie.
Mr. Lawrence, who was 71 and lived on Gordon Court in Glen Burnie, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of liver disease.
A heavyset man who was known as Big Al, he retired seven years ago after working at the dinner theater for almost 10 years.
Earlier, he had worked at the Penn Hotel in Towson, the Sparrows Point Country Club, the Park Plaza Hotel and Marty's on Fayette Street.
He was particularly well-known for his crab soup and crab cakes.
The Baltimore native was educated at St. Peter Claver School and Douglass High School and studied cooking at Cornell University.
A former exalted ruler of the Crescent Lodge of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World in Catonsville, he also belonged to the Father Michael McGiveny Council of the Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by a daughter, Loretta Lawrence of Baltimore; two sons, Leon Lawrence of Stockton, Calif., and Army Sgt. Michael Lawrence of Fort Belvoir, Va.; a sister, Eva Edwards of Hampton, Va.; a brother, Chester Lawrence of Baltimore; and four grandchildren.