In a few short weeks, many homes across the SouthCoast will begin unpacking their holiday decorations, including years worth of photos with the area’s most beloved mall Santa.

This past week, on October 13, Frank A. Lawrence – known famously as the Dartmouth Mall Santa – passed away after a “period of declining health." He was 75.

Many folks noticed that a different Santa was present at the Dartmouth Mall last year, but with so many new COVID protocols to keep mall Santas and families safe, it was easy to assume that Lawrence’s absence was simply due to his choosing to stay safe at home that year.

Lawrence’s obituary notes many of the things we often wondered about him, like what he did during the off-season.

Born in Providence, RI, son of the late Frank F. and Theresa A. (Ducharme) Lawrence, he was a lifelong resident of Taunton. Frank was a contractor for Emond Brothers Contracting, as well as a sports memorabilia dealer at the Emerald Square Mall. He was also Santa Claus at the North Dartmouth Mall for years.

Frank enjoyed bowling, shooting pool, darts, horseshoe’s and competed in leagues for all. He also enjoyed camping and any thing sports. Frank also enjoyed the company of his beloved dog, Breezy.

Courtesy Hathaway Funeral Homes

His online tribute wall is already filling up with notes from strangers and families whose Christmas wishes he’s kept safe for years and years.

Dartmouth Mall via Facebook

In the truest of Santa fashion, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that Lawrence be honored by making a donation to Toys for Toys or your local animal shelter.

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