On July 6, 2020, Walter Lawson, age 96, passed away in Houston, Mo. He was born March 21, 1924, in Burnham, Mo., to Walter Wilson and Ethel (Blankenbleckler) Lawson. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Dorothy (McClellan) Lawson; a brother, Dean Lawson and sister, Catherine Lawson Carver.
He is survived by his son, Kenny Lawson of Houston, daughter-in-law, Jeretta Kirkwood Lawson; brothers, Gene Lawson of Holts Summit, Mo., and Noel Lawson of Radford, Va.; two granddaughters, Michele Lawson McConnell and husband, Joseph of Houston, and Melodey Lawson McBride and husband, Frank of Omaha, Neb; three great-grandchildren, Elley Lawson (daughter of Melodey Lawson McBride), student at Iowa State University, Levi and Sylas McConnell (sons of Michele and Joseph McConnell) from Houston.
He is a graduate of Manual High and Vocational School in Kansas City in 1941. He worked with his dad doing carpentry work until May of 1943 when he volunteered to join the war effort. He got his basic training in Camp Roberts Calif., traveled to Africa for staging and training and then the liberation of Italy as part of the 328th field artillery. He did radio relay for the fire direction center. He returned home on the Aircraft Carrier Randolf and sailed into New York Harbor on Christmas Day 1944. It is believed by the family that he is the last member of his division.
After the army he became a radio technician and announcer and built radio stations in Iron Mountain Michigan, West Plains and Willow Springs. He also worked in radio in Paragould, Arkansas, Lovington, New Mexico, Lubbock, Big Spring and San Angelo, Texas, Fredericktown, Willow Springs, and Houston in Missouri. He will be remembered in the area for the radio show “Walt’s Old Camp Meeting Time”. Later he owned an A and W drive-in in West Plains and owned the only carwash in Houston next to where city hall presently is.
On Nov. 29, 1946, he married Dorothy McClellan in Kansas and this union lasted 67 years until her death in December 2013. To this union was born one son Kenny on March 3, 1950. When she passed away, he said that within two weeks he would join her, but his son persuaded him to go on a mission trip to Guatemala. Later he indicated that the trip was a highlight of his life.
He and Dorothy attended several churches in the area but were members of the First Free Will Baptist Church and in later years he attended the New Horizon Church of the Nazarene.
He enjoyed radio, gospel and blue grass music, gardening, traveling camping fishing, woodworking but mostly he lived his life as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. He shared his faith on the radio and any time someone asked. He longed to be with Dorothy and he in his later life used to say “one of these days” followed by what heaven would be like being with Jesus and his loved ones. His deep personal prayer was that all his offspring would know the God of the Universe who saves from sin. What a legacy and solid Christian example he has left for his family. He was a great father, husband, grandfather and ambassador for Christ, and he will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank the Houston House for the excellent care during this pandemic.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to New Horizon Church of the Nazarene Building Fund, 16697 Amber Dr., Houston, Mo. 65483
Graveside services were at 10 a.m. Friday, July 10, at Howell Memorial Park with Danny Delcour officiating. Pallbearers were: Gene McClellan, Oscar Robertson, Melvin Kirkwood, Danny Carter, Philip Kirkwood and Jim Millspaugh.
Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.