George Stuart Lawson Jr.|
Feb 20, 1938 - Oct 17, 2012
Resident of Soquel, CA
Stu Lawson lost a long battle with leukemia on October 17, 2012. He died at home surrounded by his daughters Julia and Suzanne; his stepdaughter Anusuya; and his wife Lois, who Stu fondly referred to as his "Sweet Young Thing". Stu left a legacy of family, friends and accomplishment that would be the pride of any man.
Stu was born in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Richmond, Virginia when he was ten. He loved playing in the "piney woods" as a child and his fondness of the forest continued throughout his life. He enjoyed camping and fishing with family and friends, especially at Trinity Lake in northern California.
He graduated from high school in 1956 from Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia; attended college at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia; West Valley Community College; Cabrillo College; and San Jose State University. In spite of all this schooling, he didn't obtain a college degree claiming he could never decide what he wanted to be when he grew up.
In the course of his life he was a professional dance instructor at the Fred Astaire studios in Baltimore, Maryland; a television service technician; and a Sperry Univac computer technician. In addition, he was a world-renowned author of five antique fishing tackle price guides and was a regular columnist for the Old Reel Collectors Association (ORCA) magazine, the Reel News. He was the world authority on the history of Pflueger fly fishing reels, which he described in detail in his columns, and he was always available to answer questions about reels posed by his fellow collectors. Stu contributed to ORCA in many ways, but his wonderful sense of humor was his greatest contribution. He always ended his columns with some witty and inappropriate title for his next article, a treat the readership usually read before reading anything else in the magazine. His legacy to the Club also included establishment of the Ugly Reel Toss at the ORCA convention each year, wherein particularly ugly fishing reels are chucked at some target with the "winner" forced to take them all home, along with a marvelously ugly trophy to keep for the year.
Stu was a member of the National Rifle Association; California Rifle and Pistol Association, Pajaro Valley Rod and Gun Club, Scotts Valley Sportsmen's Club, National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, and The Outdoor Writers Association of California. He bought and sold fishing gear at the Santa Cruz flea market for over twenty years and could not pass up a garage sale. He was a target shooter and competed in matches until just a few weeks before his death. He worked in conjunction with the National Rifle Association, and was one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post of Watsonville where he taught gun safety.
He is survived by his spouse of 29 years, Lois Ackerman Lawson; his daughters Julia Bernier (Peter), and Suzanne Miller (John); his stepdaughter, Anusuya StarBear (Dale); and stepsons Tracy, Clay, and Derek Johnson. He left behind 13 cherished grandchildren: Tyler Bernier, Madison Bernier, Megan Miller, Emily Miller, and Katie Miller. Sanjaya Silga, Sky Silga, Emily Carrillo, Everett Johnson, Weldon Johnson, Nina Windgatter, Alexander Johnson, and Thaddeus Johnson; three great-grandchildren Sophie, Patrick, and Farrah Carrillo; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Stu is also survived by two brothers, John Burkholder (Pam) and Bob Lawson (Linda); and a sister, Norma Lawson (Bently). He was preceded in death by his father, George Stuart Sr. and stepmother Lois E. Lawson, and his mother Barbara and stepfather Cary Burkholder.
You are invited to attend Stu's memorial service on Saturday, November 3, at 11:00 AM at the Santa Cruz Memorial Oakwood Chapel at 3301 Paul Sweet Road, Santa Cruz. At Stu's request following the chapel service there will be a walking procession with bagpipes to the graveside committal. A reception will follow at the Oakwood Reception Center.
In lieu of flowers, Stu has requested that any memorial donations be made to Venture Crew (Boy Scouts) 2568 attn: John Maraldo, 1003 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA 95076-3201. John will mail back an acknowledgement of your contribution.
If you would like to offer condolences to Stu's family, share your memories and light a candle in his memory please visit www.scmemorial.com
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Oct. 30, 2012