He studied forestry at Arkansas A&M in Monticello and LSU, earning a degree in 1946. Military service: served in WWII with the U.S. Army 108th Engineer Combat Battalion, discharged as Master Sergeant.
He served as Assistant State Forester for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. After three years in forestry, he began an eleven year banking career at Helena National Bank.
At age 41, Lawson entered the Theological Seminary of the Southwest. In 1965 he was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. He began his ministry at St. Thomas, Springdale, where he stayed for four years. While there, he also conducted services for Grace Church, Siloam Springs.
He shared his mastery of making stained glass figures at the War Eagle Mill craft fairs in Rogers. The circular stained glass window bearing the insignia of St. Thomas that resides behind the altar was his creation and gift to the church.
In 1969, the family moved to Newport, Arkansas, where he served for seven years. While there, he helped raise more funds to build an ecumenical chapel at Cummins Prison in 1976.
In 1976 he became rector of St. Luke’s in North Little Rock. There he sponsored several ecumenical programs, including a satellite operation of St. Francis House.
He served the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas on the Executive Council three times, as president of the Standing Committee twice, on the Board of Trustees, headed the Dept. of Finance and was a member of the Commission on Ministry.
He led development of the Respite Care Program. This program was the united effort of five churches, with St. Luke’s of North Little Rock providing the place and the other churches supplying volunteers and clients.
Lawson’s varied ministries included being the first person in Arkansas to serve on a national crisis response team, the National Organization for Victims’ Assistance. He brought this service to Arkansas, by creating a crisis response network in the state. In 1998 the middle school shooting in Jonesboro put the team to the task of counseling those affected. This concerted effort evolved into the Arkansas Crisis Response Team, (ARCRT.)
In 1980, he retired as a Captain in the Army Reserve and Arkansas National Guard units, including as Commanding Officer of the 959th Engineer Company in Helena.
In 1992, he received an honorary doctorate of divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.
Upon retirement in 1992, he served Trinity Cathedral by supporting all aspects of parish life during the changing landscape of the church. He served as supply priest for the Tollville and Brinkley churches.
He is preceded in death by his brother, John Anderson, and wife, Dorothy. Survivors include their four children and their families: Betty Guhman and son Mark; Ginna and Tom Simmons, and their children, Ginsie and Mary Katherine; Lawson Anderson, Jr., Cheryl Anderson and their daughter, Alexis; Kay and Denton Gay and children Richie, and Hillery and Josh Hickman, and their children. Special gratitude goes to family friend, Margaret Cavenaugh and to beloved companion, Barbara Fennell.
Page 2 of 2 - The family thanks Fox Ridge Assisted Living, North Little Rock and Parkway Village Health Center for their care of Lawson.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock and spreading of ashes will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Helena.
Memorials may be made to Easter Seals of Little Rock and The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. (Information is found online.)
Sign an online guest book at www.husonfuneralhome.com