Cornelius Bernard Lawyer
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Cornelius Bernard Lawyer

Cornelius B. "Neil" Lawyer passed away on March 8, 2020 in Bellevue, Washington at the age of 84 of complications from COVID-19. Preceded in death by his wife, Peggy, and his infant granddaughter, Julie Smolders, Neil leaves behind a loving family, including Liz (Roger) Tomten of Stillwater, MN, David Lawyer (Mara Ferrari) of Bellevue, Peter (Monica) Lawyer of Naples, FL, Susan (Luc) Smolders of Rochester, MN, and Paul (Erin) Lawyer of Woodinville.

Known as "Moose" to all and "Grandpa Moose" to a select gang of 17 grandkids and 3 great-grandchildren, Neil installed himself in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Bellevue and St. Louise Catholic Church in 1988 after a decades-long overseas posting. Moose made a career in technical sales, applying his Master's degree in Chemistry to analytical challenges in the paper and telecommunications industries. But he made his mark on the stage, on the field, and in the home. Moose loved nothing more than an audience and a microphone, leading 4th of July festivals for bemused Belgians (kitted out in a full Uncle Sam suit courtesy of his favorite seamstress-his wife of 40 years, Peggy) or belting out show tunes in local theater productions, school fundraisers, and the occasional karaoke bar. Moose coached countless Little League baseball teams, often taking the vaunted Brussels All-Stars to the European championships but never securing a ticket to the Little League World Series as his sons-and daughter!-and their teams failed to qualify. Years later, the family would honor his 80th birthday with a pilgrimage to Williamsport, PA to witness the quintessential American pastime play out in a Norman Rockwell setting with a cast drawn from around the world and across the U.S. It was an apt metaphor for a man born in a small town on the Mississippi River who battled his way through college and graduate school to join a growing cadre of American expats in the 1970s, boldly towing along a wife and 5 young children.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the family will plan a celebration of life and funeral service for this summer. If desired, family and friends are invited to make memorial contributions to the Seattle Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund.

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Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 22, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
May 26, 2020
The Tougaloo College Office of Alumni Relations offers its sincere condolences to the family of alumnus Cornelius B. Lawyer, class of 1956. May the love and memories shared sustain you now and in times to come.
Doris G. Bridgeman, Alumni Director
May 25, 2020
A good friend and neighbor to all in the Chevy Chase neighborhood in Bellevue WA.
Tim and Caron Stockton
May 24, 2020
This morning, May 24th, 2020, on the front page of the New York Times, we saw that Neil had left us on March 8 due to Covid-19. We enjoyed getting to know Neil when he sang with various "Seniors" groups in Kirkland and Bellevue including the "Kirkanutz". My mother-in-law played piano and Neil and others sang. He visited our family home in Kirkland always gracing our lives with gifts of flowers and music from about 2002ish on. Daryl and I enjoyed a dinner at Ivars with him after Inez Hoyt, the pianist, died. His death is a real loss. Sending our condolences, Krista and Daryl Hoyt
Krista Thie Hoyt
April 9, 2020
Glenn and I were so blessed to have Neil and
Peggy as our neighbors and friends in Chevy
Chase. We so enjoyed meeting their children and later the grandchildren. I cherish those memories. May you all feel the presence of
God's comfort.
Dodie Mills
March 28, 2020
Dear Liz, Dave, Peter, Susan and Paul: Our tears flow for our loss of your Dad but, yet, so many happy memories run through our minds of all the wonderful times we had while living next door to your family while isolated in a foreign land. There could never have been better neighbors and friends than Neil, Peggy and you when we lived in Waterloo, Belgium and through the following years stateside. How we exchanged rooster and elephant art; Neil's performances at the school; Peggy's needlework; our parties and cook outs; church events; enjoying our children growing up and on and on. Your parents were wonderful people and knowing them and you made our lives better and happier. God bless you all. May Neil rest in a richly deserved peace.
Love, Ellie Ramsey-Dye, Jennifer Ramsey-Dibben, Doug Ramsey and our families.
Ellie Ramsey-Dye
March 26, 2020
Joanne and I were so sorry to hear of Neil's passing. He was a real gentleman and had the gift of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable as soon as you met him. He and Peggy raised a great family.
Bud Hufnagel
March 24, 2020
So sorry to hear of this great man's passing. He was a true gentleman who raised a great family.
Tannen Maury
March 24, 2020
I didnt know you well but you were likable from the first moment. I had no idea all the wonderful and interesting things you had accomplished in your life. I know Your gift of song was handed down to David. A life well lived but cut short by this Virus. I know you will be missed by many.
Deanna Jones
March 24, 2020
A true Gentleman and friend who leaves me with many treasured memories from our time together in Africa which he enjoyed enormously, together with a hat! I shall remember him with fondness and love every time I wear it.Sending so much love and strength to his incredibly special family. His true resting place is in all of your hearts. Malcolm aka Fox
Malcolm Ainscough
March 23, 2020
David: We were so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. We know how close you were to him. We know how much time you and your family spent with him to ensure his enjoyment, wellbeing and comfort during his retirement years. Bill fondly remembers how proud you were of him and how you reminisced about your many special moments together. Our prayers and thoughts are with you, Mara and your extended family. We look forward to the celebration of his life this summer. Much love, Bill and Suzanne Lindberg
William Lindberg
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