Dr. Donald F. Lawson

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Dr. Donald F. Lawson With great sadness on April 23, 2013 we announce the passing, while simultaneously celebrating the life of Dr. Donald Frederick Lawson. Born in New York on November 14, 1924, Don lived a life that will be remembered for who he was as much as what he had accomplished. His polished professionalism combined with his integrity, a caring for others, delightful humor and an adventurous spirit to lay a path, for a life lived, well lived. Don graduated in 1942 from South Pasadena High School after which he joined the Navy and served in World War II. Upon his return Don enrolled in his fathers' Alma Mater, Occidental College and met lifelong friends in the Sigma Epsilon Fraternity while attaining a BA in History. Don's educational journey continued at the University of Colorado. In 1953 Don earned his Master's degree in business as well as marrying the mother of his children, Marilyn Yensen. Determined to assure his legacy and a fruitful career, Don went on to Ohio State, securing his Doctorate in Philosophy in Business and Economics. In 1956, ready to begin his post college life Don moved his growing family to San Diego where he was hired as Assistant Professor Marketing at San Diego State. He later became a Professor of Marketing and Chairman of the Marketing Dept. at San Diego State. He organized the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and served as its Director. Don was also one of the charter organizing members of the San Diego Chapter of the American Marketing Association and served a year as its president. He especially enjoyed serving on the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission. He was also carrying on a personal business in marketing research for San Diego business enterprises. Finding San Diego a metropolis, Don accepted a position as an Associate Professor of Business in 1965 at Humboldt State University believing that by relocating his family to Blue Lake he would find a better place to raise his children, son James Frederick, Mathew who predeceased him, and daughters Jan Kathleen, Elizabeth Louise and Patricia Grace. The beautiful rural community proved to fulfill his wishes. Drawing on his past experience, Don's career took a different, interesting and diverse path. The HSU President noticed Don had experience in some issues that were concerns to the institution. He asked if Don would reorganize and manage the Humboldt State Foundation through which contracts for the university on research, public service and other things ran through. Upon completion, the president expressed his concern on pressing issues that were in need of resolution. He started feeding Don new assignments, food service, computing, planning and development, plant operations and a number of other things. Don found this very fun and rewarding. Don also served as Full Professor, Director of Institutional Studies, Interim Vise President of Administrative Affairs and Executive Dean. He served on numerous committees on the HSU campus, including President Commission Ideals, Concepts and Strategies on which he acted as chairman and was responsible for the success of the University in obtaining many new and improved facilities. He represented the University on the Arcata Chamber of Commerce, which he served as President for a term and on the Humboldt County Economic Development Commission. Don had a lot of rewarding experiences, but the one that please him the most was fully adapting the campus for the handicapped even before OSHA was in existence. Don felt as though he was blessed, he met his second wife and love of his life Rose Burman. Don's life was tremendously enriched by considering Rose and her children, John Burman, Joanne Melendy, Sharon Shonfield and Carol Ondrejko as his own family and was accepted to be part of theirs. Don often expressed his appreciation for the Burman family filling his life with joy, love and companionship for 31 wonderful years. Don retired from the position of Director of Physical Services at HSU in 1987, after which time he and Rose enjoyed traveling to Peru, Bolivia, the Caribbean and Italy 5 times where they looked up Rose's roots and family, having a fabulous time exploring her Italian heritage. Don was an avid golfer, enjoyed many years at Baywood Golf Club and Eureka Golf Club. He had many happy times with friends and with friends at Dinner Club, Elk's Club, and Country Club at Golden Gate, Carlotta. He was also a member of the California State University Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association. Don was predeceased by Rev. Francis Willaims Lawson, who received 3 purple hearts and was a loving and supportive father; mother Grace Lawson, grandma Anna Hildring Johnson, cousin Miriam Lawson and many wonderful Uncles, Aunts and Cousins. He is survived by brother Kenneth Lawson; cousin Caroline Lawson; sister-in-law Ann Corder and her family; niece and nephew Judy and Dick Giacolini and by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Eureka Elk's Lodge, 445 Herrick Avenue with a reception immediately following at the Lodge. In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests donations be given to Hospice. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com, click on obits.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Apr. 28 to Apr. 30, 2013
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