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Thomas J.  Lawson Jr.

Memorial for Thomas J. Lawson Jr.

Born in Braxton Coounty WV on May 5, 1927
Departed on Apr. 13, 2017 and resided in Chatham Twp., OH.
Visitation: Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Service: Monday, Apr. 17, 2017
12 pm
Cemetery: Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Thomas J Lawson Jr, 89, of Spencer Ohio, passed away on Thursday April 13, 2017. His brother Kenneth and daughter Sherrie were by his side.
The eldest son of Thomas and Mamie Lawson, Tom was born in 1927 in Sutton, West Virginia, where he grew up in abject poverty during the heart of the Great Depression; but as he was known to say, he didn't feel poor as a child while in the loving company of his family. At the age of 16, however, he left home to seek opportunity, and after a couple of years of working odd jobs joined the Marine Corps.
In 1948, while stationed at the Marine base in Cherry Point North Carolina, he got a bad head cold and went to buy some cold medicine. It was on this fateful trip that he stopped into a diner on the base to get a bite to eat, and there he met a beautiful 18 year old waitress named Alva Leigh Vaughn. Although it was her looks that first attracted him, her easy nature and innate goodness captivated him, and a week later they were married.
After leaving the Marines Tom and Alva, who went by her middle name of Leigh, moved to Pontiac Michigan where he worked for a time for General Motors. From there they moved to Ohio and he landed a job with Ford Motor Company, where he would work for the next 30 years. During that interval he bought an 88 acre farm in Medina County, and in the early 1970's ran a successful horse show called Rolling Acres that drew hundreds of contestants every Sunday from Medina and surrounding counties. In the late 70's Tom moved his family to Freedom Township in Portage County, and for a time ran two horse shows simultaneously. He also had a tack shop and an awards business. During that time he bought the land where his childhood home stood in his beloved hills of West Virginia, and retained ownership until his death.
Tom was a restless spirit. He tried his hand at many ventures throughout his life, with varying degrees of success. But he imparted to his children an undying work ethic, and a fearless search for fulfillment. He was always happiest when he was working toward a goal. Although he stood only five foot six, to his children he walked the earth as a giant among men. Never was there a man who exuded more confidence than Tom Lawson.
Over the course of 68 years Tom and Leigh raised 6 children together, who in turn gave them 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Leigh was the great love of Tom's life. At the end of her life she fought a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease with dignity and grace, and ultimately went home to the Lord in December of 2016. As Tom tearfully said after her death, "68 years isn't a long time when you're in love."
Unable to work any longer, and in failing health, Tom lost his zest for life. His decline was rapid, and at last it was time to rejoin his love that they might walk hand in hand into eternity.
Tom Lawson lived the American Dream.
Funeral services will be held Monday, April 17 at 12 PM at the Parker Funeral Home, 210 Medina St., Lodi (330-948-1122).
Pastor Joe Williams will officiate.
Burial will follow at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.
Calling hours will be Saturday (today) from 6-9 PM at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Greater East Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, 70 W Streetsboro St. Ste. 201, Hudson, OH 44236.
Online condolences may be shared at www.parkerfuneralhomes.com.

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