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Cornelius Bernard Lawyer

Cornelius Bernard Lawyer Obituary
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
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