He was born on June 28, 1919, in Neosho, Mo., to Thomas W. and Anna Virginia (Watkins) Lawson. As a young boy, he grew up and attended school in Neosho. He then moved to Webb City, Mo., where he lived for a time before moving to Kansas, where he made his home and farmed for many years in the Faulkner area.
On June 24, 1963, he married Jaunita Mae Watson. She preceded him in death on June 16, 1970. On July 20, 1979, he married Florence C. Bush. She preceded him in death on May 2, 2007.
He was an avid fisherman and a very devoted father and grandfather. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family.
Survivors include 15 children, David Lawson and his wife, Alexis, Lenora “Tinker” Brown and her husband, Robert, Pat Holtz and Chuck Lawson and his companion, Robin Armstrong, all of Oswego, Holly Erwin and her companion, Jim Nave, of Chetopa, Tina Johnson and her husband, Randy, and Ann Wilson and her husband, Holly, all of Welch, Okla., Peggy Miller of Joplin, Judy Robins of St. Paul, Minn., Sharon Gero and her husband, George, of Hallowell, Shirley Yearton of Kimberling, Mo., Kenney Acres of Missouri, Forest “Bugsy” Evans and his wife, Margie, of Elkton, Ky., Bill Evans of Commerce, Okla., and Debbie Kiser of Texas; a son at heart, Hal Erwin of Coffeyville; 48 grandchildren; 76 great-grandchildren; and three brothers, Ottie Lawson and his wife, Imogene, of Carthage, Mo., Jim Lawson and his wife, Wilma, of Joplin and Ray Lawson and his wife, Charlene, of Newberg, Ore.
In addition to his wives, he was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, George, Earl and Richard Lawson; seven sisters, Mabel Carter, Mary Peyton, Dottie Peyton, Bessie Gray, Elva Capps, Marguerite Jackson and Pearl Bush; three children, Betty Johnson, Richard Evans and Linda Gilliland; two grandchildren, Shannon Best and Lloyd Nowlin; and two great-grandchildren, Kelis Spainhower and Blake Lawson.
Following cremation, the service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First Southern Baptist Church in Oswego. Burial of ashes will be in Greenlawn Cemetery near Hallowell. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time Thursday at the church.
Memorials are suggested to First Southern Baptist Church in Oswego and may be left at or mailed to Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 346, Chetopa, 67336.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.