John B. Lawson (1931 - 2013)

  • "I just learned of the passing of John. My deepest..."
    - Linda Y
  • "My heart flet wishes are with your family, who I have been..."
    - Karen Crossman
  • "Dear Lawson family we are so sad for your loss, Our prayers..."
    - Palacio Family
  • "Thank you John Lawson Sr. for opening your door to me and..."
    - Phil Aquino
  • "You are and will always be an extraordinary man. I thank..."
    - Daisy Gomez

John B. Lawson


John B. Lawson, 81, peacefully passed away Friday, March 1, 2013 at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in Salinas. He was born October 17, 1931, in Springdale, PA.

From a very young age, John had always dreamed of joining the Army and becoming a paratrooper. John enlisted into the United States Army at the age of 17 and retired after 20 active-duty years of honorable service with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He then continued his military career with the California State Military Reserve (CSMR) where he ascended to the rank of Full Colonel. During his service, he was stationed in Cold War era Alaska; Berlin, Germany during the Berlin Airlift and Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was a highly decorated soldier and proudly served with such iconic units as the 11th Airborne, The 5th Special Forces Group and Mac-V-SOG.

In civilian life, John worked more than 20 years at Hartnell College and retired as the Chief Engineer. He was a dedicated member of the American Legions and All Services Airborne Association for 25 years. He volunteered many years to proudly aiding disabled veterans and also dedicated many years volunteering his services to the Laguna Seca Raceway.

For those who were privileged enough to have known John, you'll already know what an incredible man he was. For those who had not known him, it is impossible to convince another that such a man existed. Never have we known anyone who was so true, loving, selfless, honest and just. He valued life and the well-being of others so much that he dedicated his entire life fighting for and protecting people and their freedoms. Every action this man took and every word he spoke was truly from his heart. Every bit of goodness that we have learned in our lives has come from him. We have been absolutely blessed to have had him as our husband and father. We will miss you every day until we see you in once again with our Lord in Heaven.

John is survived by his wife, Mai Lawson; his daughter, Kim Lawson; and his son, John Lawson Jr. and was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Lawson.

Visitation will be held Friday, March 8, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis St., Salinas, CA 93901.

Funeral service will be held Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., at the Struve and Laporte Chapel.

Burial with full military honors will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian Way, Salinas, CA 93907.

Arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences:

Funeral Home
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 424-0311
Published in The Salinas Californian from Mar. 6 to Mar. 9, 2013
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