Dr. Marion Russell Lawler Jr., 75, died on the evening of June 18, 2013, after suffering a stroke at his home in Harlingen, Texas.
Marion had a fantastic and wonderful marriage of nearly 50 years to Francis Nan Kennedy, who preceded him in death in 2008. He was also preceded in death by his father Dr. Marion Russell Lawler Sr. and his mother Mildred Fielding Lawler.
He is survived by his loving companion, Dr. Susan Hunter; his son, Marion Russell Lawler III; his daughter, Karen Kennedy Lawler; his daughter-in-law, Marcela Arguelles Lawler; and his grandchildren, Maria Lawler, Marion Russell Lawler IV, Max Lawler and Gabrielle Farrar; his brother, John Lawler; his sister, Mildred Lawler; many nephews, nieces cousins and loyal friends.
Dr. Lawler was born in Mercedes, Texas, on August 10, 1937.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Southwestern University in 1958. He graduated from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, in 1963. He completed his General Surgical and Cardiothoracic internship at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1968. He served as Chief Resident there through 1969.
After completing his residency he served in the U.S. Navy
as a Cardiothoracic surgeon during the Vietnam War
on the U.S.S. Sanctuary. In 1970, Dr. Lawler entered into private practice in Harlingen, Texas. In 1978, he and Charlie Fox, M.D., started the first open heart surgery program in the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Lawler performed well over 2,000 open heart surgeries and saved countless lives before retiring from active practice in 2007.
Dr. Lawler was a Past President of the Cameron/Willacy County Medical Society, the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Society, the Baylor Medical Alumni Association and the Texas Surgical Society. He was a member of the DeBakey International Cardiovascular Society, the American College of Surgeons, the Southwestern Surgical Congress, the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the International Cardiovascular Society.
Dr. Lawler also served in numerous civic capacities. He was active in the Harlingen Rotary Club
, the Rio Grande Development Council, the American Cancer Society, First United Methodist Church and he was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Dr. Lawler was an avid distance runner and a voracious reader. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, skin diving, and traveling, but most of all entertaining and relaxing with his family and friends.
He was a devoted husband, a fantastic father and a loyal friend and mentor to many, many others.
Pallbearers will be Marion Lawler III, Jorge de la Garza, Sergio Arguelles Jr., John Thomas Edge, Austin Connell and Scot Davis.
Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 21, 2013, at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., June 22nd at First Methodist Church, 321 E. Harrison Ave., Harlingen, with Rev. David Payne officiating.
Graveside services with full military honors under the auspices of the American Legion Post 205 will follow at Mont Meta Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel in San Benito.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the
, P.O. Box 841125, Dallas, Texas 75284-1125.
You are invited to sign the guest book or leave a memory at www.buckashcraft.com
Arrangements are with Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.