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F.H. "Rudy" Lawson

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F.H. "Rudy" Lawson
of Pinehurst, N.C.,
formerly of Chenango Bridge
Floyd Harold "Rudy" Lawson, 82, formerly of Chenango Bridge, died Sunday, February 13, 2005, at his residence in Pinehurst, N.C. He is survived by his four children, daughter and son-in-law, Judy A. and Dominic R. "Mico" Ferrante, Lake Mary, Fla.; son and daughter-in-law, James A. and Barri W. Lawson, Melbourne, Fla.; daughter, Jean Lawson Peters, Pinehurst, N.C.; and son and his partner, Jon C. Lawson and Steven M. Klugerman, Atlanta, Ga.; seven grandchildren, Christopher (Kim) Ferrante, Nicolle (Bruce) Napolitano, Michael (Teash) Lawson, J. Matthew (Melissa) Lawson, Jason, Laura and Kevin Peters; eight great-grandchildren, Taylor and Nic Ferrante, Aden and Amelia Lawson, Courtney Lawson, Sean, Stephen and Logan Napolitano; and a cousin, Joanne (Howard) Lundgren. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Yvonne M. Lawson on November 5, 2002; his parents, Floyd H. Sr. and Mildred E. Lawson; his brother and sister-in-law, Robert C. and Elizabeth H. Lawson; and several cousins. Born on April 24, 1922 in Jamestown, N.Y., Rudy graduated from Academy High School in Erie, Pa. in 1940. He served during World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, 15th Air Force, 98th Bomb Group (Italy) as B-24 captain where he received the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. He received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1946, and a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1951. He and Yvonne then moved to Binghamton, which they affectionately called the "Valley of Opportunity," where he started with Link Aviation as Special Assistant to the President, rising to General Manager. In 1959 he was recruited by Don Ahearn to join Universal Instruments Corporation, where he served as Vice-president (1959-1967), President (1967-1983), and Chairman (1983-1985). He left Universal in 1985 to become president and CEO of Universal's parent, Dover Technologies International, from which he retired in 1992. Prior to retirement, he was a member of the board of directors of Dover Corporation, Dover Technologies, Dover Elevator International, Universal Instruments Corporation, and BSB Bancorp, and a member of the Liberty Mutual Advisory Board. Rudy was active in many community causes as a member of United Health Services Foundation, Binghamton University Foundation, Purdue University President's Council, and The John Purdue Club; a Director of Broome Community College Foundation and Binghamton University Athletic Club; the Chairman (and a founding member) of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering Advisory Board at Binghamton University, Chairman of the Broome County Resource Recovery Agency and the United Health Services Foundation Capital Campaign; and past Chairman of the Broome County Chamber of Commerce and The Harpur Forum. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree from Purdue in 1990, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and was a member and past president of the Binghamton Club and Binghamton Country Club. Rudy was recognized for his corporate and community contributions by being awarded the University Medal from Binghamton University in 1984, the State University of New York Distinguished Citizen Award in 1988, the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award in 1989, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association in 2000. For many years he has been Dean of The Austin Putting Academy.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 17th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wm. R. Chase & Son Funeral Home, 737 Chenango St., Port Dickinson. The family will also receive friends at the First Presbyterian Church of Binghamton, 42 Chenango St., Friday, February 18th, from 1 to 2 p.m. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. with Rev. Dr. Barry H. Downing, officiating. Entombment will follow in Vestal Hills Memorial Park's Tower of Memories. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make donations in Rudy's memory to: The Floyd H. Lawson Engineering Scholarship Endowment at the Binghamton University Foundation, P.O. Box 6005, Binghamton, N.Y. 13902-6005, or to United Health Services Foundation.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Feb. 17, 2005
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