Cumming, GA- Catharina Petronella Lawson, 81, of Cumming, GA passed away on June 9, 2014. Over the past two weeks following a sudden illness, she was surrounded by those who loved her, all her 5 children: Don, (Ginny), Katherine, Mike, Scott, (Angela) and Ken, (Connie) and many of her 11 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren as well as her very close sister-in-law, Dot Holcombe. She is also survived by her brother Harry Aurik, (Annie) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Catharina experienced life to its fullest providing amazing memories for herself and her family. She was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on April 22, 1933 and as a young child experienced the indelible memories of the 5 year Nazi occupation of her country. Following the war she tried her hand as a nurse until her instructor advised her that her soft heart would not bode well for the many sorrowful outcomes of this occupation. Other adventures included being a magician's assistant and performing in theater.
Soon after, she set off for Sweden to work as a governess for a doctor and his large family, applying for the job without knowing any English or Swedish. Within a year she spoke fluent Swedish and decided to charter a new adventure by keeping children for military families in Germany. There she met Robert "Bob" Lawson who became her husband on September 11, 1956. Being in the Air Force the Lawson's traveled to many countries growing their family along the way; Germany, Georgia, France, New York and Taiwan and many other assignments.
Throughout her life she was actively involved with her children as well as the communities that she lived in. From serving as Cub Scout Den Mother and Girl Scout Leader, to dressing up in her native Dutch costume to share her culture with her children's classmates. She took cake decorating and made many holiday and event cakes for the family and friends, knitted Barbie doll clothes for her daughter, learned to paint black and white photos, worked as a florist assistant, and did extensive gardening at every new location her family was assigned to. Her heart was big and she devoted much of her time to demonstrating compassion for the sick and elderly, working at the food bank in both Warner Robins and Cumming. She was known to adopt families in need and shared her love with others who were less fortunate.
Catharina was laid to rest Wednesday, June 11 along side of her husband, in the Georgia National
Cemetery in Canton, GA.
In lieu of flowers, her wish was that donations be made. to a local food bank or Hospice organization.
Arrangements by the professional staff at McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory, 150 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 886-9899.
Published in The Telegraph on June 15, 2014