Obituary Donated by Bill and Gina Smith


From The Barbourville Mountain Advocate Online March 27, 2007


Ralph Lawson, 84, of Artemus, passed away Thursday, March 20, 2003 in the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. He was a son of the late Samuel and Jane Singleton Lawson, born to them on May 29, 1918 in Knox County.

Mr. Lawson was a retired school bus driver for the Knox County School System, a well-known Knox County farmer, a member of the Coalport Baptist Church, and he served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army, having received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. On December 19, 1945, he united in marriage with Mary Belle Sowders and to this union two sons: Clarence and James were born. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers: Jess Red Lawson, Ott Lawson, Dud Lawson, Frank Lawson and an infant brother: Clarence Lawson. His sisters: Rosie Lawson Hembree, Fredia Lawson Williams and Lois Lawson Jackson.

Mr. Lawson is survived by his loving wife of over fifty-seven years: Mary Belle Sowders Lawson of Artemus. Two sons: Clarence Lawson and wife Jerry Sue of Virgie, Kentucky and the Rev. James Lawson and wife Judy of Barbourville. Five grandchildren: Sherry Elaine Lawson Hopper and husband Dwight of Corbin, Kentucky; Michele Lawson Swafford and husband Bill of Barbourville; Craig Lawson and wife Tracy of Artemus, Kentucky; Susan Margaret Lawson and boyfriend Kevin Barnes of Barbourville; and David Lawson and wife Carla of Barbourville. Seven great grandchildren: Brittaney Swafford, Ashley Hopper, Amanda Hopper, Benjamin Ralph Lawson, Wesley Lawson, Ashton Lawson and Madyson Lawson and many nieces and nephews and other relatives who mourn his passing.

Funeral Services for Ralph Lawson were conducted in Hopper Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, March 22, 2003 at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Arnold Petrey, the Rev. John Partin and the Rev. Gene Hubbs officiating. Burial was in Barbourville Cemetery. Those serving as pallbearers were: Chad Crawford, Billy Crawford II, Darrell Mills, Carl Runion, Donnie Lawson, Chuck Lawson and Jack Bradley Davis. Hopper Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


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