JAMES NORMAN LAWHORN, 95
HAINES CITY - James Norman Lawhorn, known to everyone as Skip, died of natural causes peacefully on the morning of July 27, 2013, and went to his heavenly home. Skip spent most of his 951/2 years in Haines City, a town he loved.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he moved with his parents, Evan and Eva Lawhorn, and his two brothers, Irven and Stanford, to Haines City at the age of 3. He attended the University of Florida but, like many young men, left school to serve his country during WWII. In 1942, he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Elizabeth Wieberg of Lake Hamilton, before being shipped overseas. Skip was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and worked in triage hospitals in France. He received the Bronze Star for his service. After his return, Skip began Lawhorn Drug Stores with his two brothers and father. He and brother Irven owned Lawhorn's Corner Drug, which became a local icon and famous for their "slawburgers", a recipe kept secret even to this day.
Skip was an active civic leader in the Haines City community. He was a founding member of the Haines City chapter of Rotary International and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honor bestowed in Rotary. He served on the Haines City Citrus Growers Board of Directors for 16 years, the Haines City Planning Commission, and was elected a City Commissioner. He was President of the Chamber of Commerce. While these public roles reflect his qualities as both leader and servant, he most enjoyed helping people behind the scenes, such as teaching people to sign their paychecks and opening the drug store in the middle of the night to get medicine for someone in need. He was a master storyteller and his humor was a powerful healing instrument.
He served many years in the First Presbyterian Church of Haines City in various capacities and led the building campaign for the new church at its current location. He met his second wife, Doris Way, during this time and they spent 13 years of contentment together. Those close to Skip will know him as an eternal optimist, mediator, facilitator, and jokester. He was generous and giving to his family and community and loved by many. He possessed a mischievous spirit up to the very end of his life. He was a thoughtful husband, supportive and fun father, a proud grandfather and great grandfather. He was an avid sports fan, a lover of swing music and the jitterbug.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Margaret and his brothers Irven and Stan. He is survived by his second wife, Doris; his daughters, Diane McLean and Celia Lawren and son-in-law Richard McLean; his grandchildren Stephen and Erin Owens, Matthew and Taryn McLean, Megan and Michael Weaver; great grandchildren Andrew, Evan and Helen Owens, Will, Kate, and Elizabeth McLean; nephews Keith Lawhorn and Dr. Tom Lawhorn; and great nephews Keith, Tim, Glenn and Kyle Lawhorn.
A gathering of friends will be Tuesday from 4-6pm at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, Haines City, and on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 from 10 am until the funeral service at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church, 104 Scenic Highway, Haines City, FL. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Building Fund of First Presbyterian Church.
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Published in Ledger from July 30 to July 31, 2013