Lawson, Ethel Johnson
Apr. 3, 1929 - Jun. 16, 2013
Ethel Johnson Lawson, of Venice, died peacefully in her home on June 16, 2013, at the age of 84. Born in Lima, Ohio, Ethel studied geology and geography, earning a baccalaureate degree from Flora Stone Mather College in Cleveland, Ohio, and a masters degree in library science from the University of North Carolina before having four children with her college sweetheart, Virgil Willis Lawson. Their 58-year marriage ended with his death in 2008.
In addition to raising children, Ethel was a dedicated volunteer. Her most important activities outside the home led her to become a crusader against the fear, apathy and fatalism that existed in the culture regarding cancer and dying. A 1969 mastectomy led to awareness of society's attitudes and a resolve to lead change. Reach To Recovery was being organized by the American Cancer Society to help women with breast cancer
, and Ethel became an organizer and early volunteer, calling on patients, training volunteers, and doing public and professional education. By 1977, Cincinnati began organizing a Hospice, one of the first in the US, and Ethel was a volunteer again, doing public speaking to help start the movement.
She believed that no one is indispensable, but everyone should assume responsibility for the benefit of all; that we must, if the world is to become a better place. Her life spanned decades that brought great change for women, and her children were proud to see how their knowledgeable, articulate mother grew with the increasing opportunities to make a difference.
She is loved and survived by son Robert F. Lawson; daughter and son-in-law Deborah A. Lawson and Greg Kychun; son and daughter-in-law Kevin E. and Sandra E. Lawson; son and daughter-in-law Mark G. and Amy L. Lawson; 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 29th at Venice Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto, Venice, Florida 34285, internment service in the Memorial Garden at 9:30 am, followed by a Celebration of Life memorial service at 10:00 am in the church. There will be a small reception after the service. In lieu of flowers, Ethel request donations be sent to the church building fund.