Robert Taylor Lawson
1927 - 2018
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Bobby Lawson, 91, was the first baby born on the Peninsula in 1927 to John Robert Lawson (Captain Johnny) and Iola Topping Lawson in the first hour of January 1st. Bobby left us on April 11, 2018 to be with his first wife, Betty Anne Minnegerode Lawson, and second wife, Carolyn W. Lawson, both of whom predeceased him. His brothers John Healy Lawson and Charles Franklin Lawson, sisters Caroline Lawson Sullivan and Iola L. Lawson have also left this earth before Bobby. He is survived by his children, John R. Lawson, II and wife Paige, Dr. R. Bland Lawson and wife Kym, and Elizabeth Lawson Taylor, stepchildren Debbie Carrithers and Laura Calvert and husband Chris along with grandchildren Betsy, Julie, Taylor, Tess, Jack, Robert, Harrison, Ally, Zach, Cam, Les, Evan, Drew, four great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Brother-in-law I. Earl Lawson is the last surviving relative of his generation. Bobby started a long and successful career as a partner with Bill Jordan in 1958 with the establishment of W. M. Jordan Company after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1949 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He was responsible for all of W.M. Jordan’s jobsite construction operations. He retired five years ago, but remained Chairman of the Board until this past February. He was also a World War II veteran and served his country as an enlisted officer in the Navy stationed in Pearl Harbor. Projects that he was particularly proud of include Christopher Newport University, Newport News City Hall, Hampton Roads Convention Center, the Virginia Living Museum, An Achievable Dream Academy, the Mariners’ Museum, Riverside Hospital, the Virginia Air and Space Museum, Riverwalk at Yorktown, the William & Mary Law School and 14 peninsula high schools. More than $15 billion dollars of construction was completed under his leadership. He was a devoted Virginia Tech football and Frank Beamer fan and attended all home games. Bobby was an avid hunter and fisherman that learned from his Dad and passed that love along to his children. He was past president of the Warwick Rotary Club, Peninsula Builders Exchange, and Associated General Contractors of the Peninsula. He was a member of the board of the Bank of Hampton Roads and Central Fidelity Bank. He received the Virginia Tech “Hall of Fame Constructor� award in 2004, AGC of Virginia Honorary award in 2005, the Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and the Silver Beaver Award of the Boy Scouts of America. He was also an active member of the Warwick Yacht Club, the Hampton Yacht Club and the James River Country Club. Bobby grew up and was baptized in First United Methodist Church in Hampton. He joined First United Methodist Church in Newport News when he moved there and married Betsy. Upon his final move to his original neighborhood in Hampton, he once again became part of the First United Methodist congregation. Our family appreciates the love and support of Bobby’s caregivers over many years; Jeanette, Sandra, Sharon, Aiysha, Marcella, Antoinette, Julie and Walter. The family is making a donation to the Virginia Living Museum (524 J Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601) in memory of Bobby. He was one of the Warwick Rotary Club members that was instrumental in its creation. The family will receive friends at the R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, 245 S Armistead Ave, Hampton, VA, on Friday, April 13th from 6:00-7:00pm. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 4:00pm on Saturday, April 14th at CNU Pope Chapel, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, VA, with Rev. Candee Martin and Rev. Jay Lawson officiating. Burial will be private for immediate family. The family would like to invite friends and family to join them for a reception at the James River Country Club, 1500 Country Club Rd., Newport News, VA, following the service.

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Published in Daily Press from Apr. 12 to Apr. 14, 2018.
Calling hours
06:00 - 07:00 PM
Celebration of Life
04:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by R. HAYDEN SMITH FUNERAL HOME
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16 entries
July 12, 2018
Mr Lawson was one of the nicest gentlemen I ever had the pleasure of knowing and I was blessed to have known him and entire family from the 60's growing up and going to school with Bland. I was welcome in the family home at a early age.
I send my sincere condolences to John, Bland and Elizabeth.
May God Bless!
James Jones
April 16, 2018
May he rest in peace.
Mary Ann Smith
April 15, 2018
I met Bob in 1965 and was privileged to work on his projects for 47 years. Bob always treated workers with respect and Will be missed by all.
Larry Brooks
April 14, 2018
I will miss our discussions about fishing. We would always swap fishing stories when he would visit the job site. Once I was working on a job at Sentara and during a very, very busy day. Bob called me out of the blue and asked if I could come to the office. When I got there he had fishing albums on his desk and showed me pictures and shared fishing stories. When I was there enjoying Bob's memories with him, my boss Howard Joyner called me and asked where the heck are you.
I told him I was at the office. Howard asked what are you doing at the office? I told him I was looking at fishing pictures with Bob and Howard hung up.

I will miss Bob.

Our sincere condolences to the family.
Neil & Rebecca Johnson
April 13, 2018
I have so many memories of what a great and caring man he was. I met him back in 1989 through my uncle Harold Topping. He helped me through when I lost my uncle. I could always just sit and talk to him with such admiration. He will forever hold a place in my ❤. Until we meet again my friend.
Carl Hanson
April 13, 2018
I'm extending my heartfelt sympathy to the Mr. Lawson family and friends. May you find comfort in knowing God( 1 Peter 5:6,7) cares for you and will help during this time of grief and sorrow.
April 13, 2018
My condolences to the entire Lawson family.
Mr. Lawson was as good as they come and Heaven is now a little better place.
I always enjoyed our talks and shall always have a special place in my heart for him and the family.
Special prayers for John, Bland and Liz.
O. J. "Skip" Smith
April 12, 2018
I worked for Mr. Lawson for some time and I know he will be missed. He was a fine man and was very well thought of. To Johnny and his family, our sincerest condolences and prayers. Love, Jean Smith
Jean Smith
April 12, 2018
The world is a better place because Bobby was created and his work will live on.
Dick and Melissa Kintigh
Dick & Melissa Kintigh
April 12, 2018
Rest in peace Mr. Lawson. Condolences and prayers to your family.
Gary & Dina Fentress
April 12, 2018
Mr. Lawson was a true Southern Gentleman. He will be missed by all who knew him. Prayers and condolences to the family.
Gary & Dina Fentress
April 12, 2018
So very sorry for your loss. He was a great man and I know you all will miss him. God bless always.
Earl Hinnenkamp
April 12, 2018
I had the priviledge of visiting with Mr. Lawson on a monthly basis as I served communion to him over a period of 9 or 10 years. He always expressed his love for Christ's Church and his appreciation for my visits. Like Christopher Wren who spoke of edifices like St. Paul's cathedral in London as his 'monument'; Bobby Lawson can also tell us to look around the Peninsula to see his monument--all of the magnificent structures he was instrumental in building.
Edward Guldner
April 12, 2018
To the Lawson family: Sorry for your loss god bless you all!
Shelly Vieth
April 12, 2018
Sorry for your loss,and thanks for sharing your dad with me,We had some great talks together about the Poquoson watermen and boats I will miss him
Donna dee Dudley
April 12, 2018
I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences. You are in my thoughts.
Forrest Wall
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