Kirkpatrick Lawton, 96, passed away peacefully on Oct. 1, 2013 with family and longtime canine companion, Freddie, by his side. Kirk will be fondly remembered for a lifetime of helping others, as well as for his kind, gentle spirit, his respect for nature and the environment, and his passion for hiking.
Kirk was born to Harry and Helen Lawton in St. Paul, MN, where he spent his childhood. His love of the outdoors started with Boy Scouts, with whom he earned his Eagle Scout Award. Starting his agronomy studies at University of Minnesota
, he earned his PhD at Michigan State University
. There he met and married his college sweetheart, Marjorie Patterson, and they began their 64-year adventure together. After losing Marge, Kirk was lucky enough to fall in love again at 90 with Isabel Hefle.
While teaching at MSU, Kirk became involved in international agricultural education with USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation. His work with universities in South America, Africa and Asia helped local students and farmers benefit from his knowledge and expertise in crop science. His green thumb at gardening is evidenced by the huge plants he nurtured, the endless colorful flowers that bloomed, and his corner lot yard covered in African Daisies!
Retiring from MSU International Programs in 1980, Kirk and Marjorie moved to Green Valley, where Kirk started mountain hiking. With fellow enthusiasts, he hiked Mt. Wrightson, Mt. Whitney and Mt. Hopkins. When the international bug bit again, Kirk was off hiking the Matterhorn, Mt. Blanc in France, and England coast to coast.
Kirk was a true citizen of the world who touched and influenced a great many lives. Please join the family at his Memorial Service on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 at La Posada in La Vista's Madera Room from 3 to 4 p.m. Remembrances may be directed to the Animal League of GV.