Robert J. LAWTON
1950 - 2021
Age 70 St. Paul Attorney When you read this I will have finished my dance of death with pancreatic cancer, the music of life will have ceased and death will have reared its ugly head and my spirit will have departed to the Great Spirit in the Sky. I was born on August 30, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York and had my final dance on July 20, 2021. I moved to St. Paul in 1958 and have resided here since then. I attended St. Mark's grade school, St. Thomas Academy and graduated from St. Thomas College in December 1970. I also attended the University of Minnesota pre-med program for one year and then changed course and attended Hamline University School of Law, graduating in December 1976. I started my career as an attorney partnering with my brother Jim. Two years later I began a solo practice working until death reared its ugly head. My practice concentrated on family law-divorce-custody and on juvenile law representing parents in Child Protection and Termination of Parental Rights litigation. My life was truly enriched by the many diverse people and situations I encountered on a daily basis. I worked with numerous judges and referees in my 43 years of practice, seeing some of the best and most competent and some who were so incompetent I could not believe how he or she could have ever been appointed. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful and caring County Attorneys and their staff, particularly in the area of Child Protection, as well as many Guardian Ad Litems, any attorney advocating for children, and truly dedicated child protection workers. Many of these people became friends for life. I always tried to enjoy each and every day of my life. I loved the outdoors and spent many wonderful summer vacations in Vail, Lake Namakagon, the Black Hills, the Badlands, Lacrosse and Trempealeau. I spent a lot of exciting times on my mountain bike, hiking and canoeing, in these locations and others too lengthy to list. I enjoyed pushing myself physically and participated in numerous running races, mountain bike races and triathlons. I feel I enjoyed life to the fullest and was blessed by my loving relationship with my wife Roxann who was my lover and best friend for the last 20 years. We were as close to each other as any two human beings can be, and my greatest regret in leaving this world is that for a while we will be apart. All of the sunrises, sunsets and full moons I spent with her were astounding. Each day I spent with her was a precious gift. I am preceded in death by my brother, James Lawton III and survived by my dear wife, Roxann Cunningham, my former wife, Barbara Lawton, wonderful mother of our three children, Kelly Lawton Rogosheske, Robert Jr. (Lindsay) of Hamden, CT and Corey, as well as six precious grandchildren, Vincent, Lucas and Annabel Rogosheske, Grady, Miriam and Audrey Lawton, and my step-son Preston Cunningham. Also survived by sister, Jeanne Ward (Charlie) of Jacksonville, FL, brother Dr. John Lawton (Mary Jo) of Green Bay, WI, seven nieces, one nephew, and numerous loving friends and acquaintances who all know who you are. I will miss the camaraderie from all the Halloween, Epiphany, Kentucky Derby, Fourth of July gatherings and so many other special occasions. I have now departed to an unknown destination and all of my questions about what happens after death will now have been answered. What more can I ask? A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, August, 13 from 4:00-8:00 pm at Summit Manor, 275 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.

Published by Pioneer Press from Jul. 22 to Jul. 25, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Celebration of Life
4:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Summit Manor
275 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN
Sponsored by St Paul Pioneer Press.
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13 Entries
So grateful for Uncle Bobby and the fun, lasting memories. He was my first babysitter and present for many important milestones throughout my life. I loved what a wonderful brother he was to my mom. Thinking of you and love you, Roxann, Rob, Kelly and Corey.
Barbara Bucher DeWitt
August 7, 2021
As a CPS worker Bob was my worst enemy and my best friend. When representing clients he'd defend them tenaciously. And give them "come to Jesus" talks about cooperating with CPS. He was a good foe and an honorable guy. I miss him already.
August 6, 2021
I´m surprised Bob did not mention his stint in the LEC custody court in his self-obit. Near the end he represented in-custody public defender clients for first appearances. I always was glad to see Bob in the courtroom when I walked in at 1:00 pm. He was always congenial and would make the afternoon calendar go smoothly and fast, while doing a great job for his clients. So sorry the end was not as easy for him. Tom Hughes
Tom Hughes
July 27, 2021
The cottage will always be a special place because of you Bob. Thank you for trimming that huge pine tree!!! We´ve now have named it Bob´s Tree in your honor. Love you!
Jo and John
July 26, 2021
Uncle Bobby, you enriched each life you encountered. We love you!
Michelle Lawton Recendez
July 25, 2021
So sorry to see this news. I truly enjoyed whenever Bob was in court. He would have a twinkle in his eye a wry smile. He could really get me laughing.
David Higgs
July 25, 2021
Roxann, we are struggling to find the words to express our sorrow at the news Bob´s passing. We fear that any condolence we could offer to assuage your loss would ring feeble at best. We have however found a small measure of joy in remembering our past adventures together; Vail, Lions Head, finding BOZO´s last resting place, the marathon dinners out, cocktail parties, and the wonderfully stimulating discussions. As you know, Bob was so much more than a friend to Mary and I. He was a mentor, advisor, comedian, and a wellspring of wisdom. Wisdom he would gladly share whether solicited or not. We pray that you find solace in the memories of your time with an extraordinarily wonderful person. May you find peace with the passage of time and the knowledge that Bob loved you very much and that you are loved by so many.
Mary and James Butler
July 25, 2021
Bob, you were one of a kind! I´m so glad our paths crossed. You´ll be missed by many. I loved seeing you come into the courtroom and when we made eye contact you had a devilish twinkling look in your eyes and that caring smirk! Sometime talking with you I never knew if you were giving me a bunch of BS or not. But a lot of laughs over the years. You were an awesome advocate for your clients, Bob! Your parties were always so much fun. Life is not fair in that you were taken too soon! My heart is heavy. Roxann: You two were a great couple! Sending love your way during this awful time. Sorry for your loss. To the Lawton family, my condolences to you all. A lot of us will miss him. But keep the good memories in mind. I can´t help but smile when I think of Bob!
Mary Dupre
July 25, 2021
I have some great memories of our times together Bob. Seems I have lived my life in segments and you were a huge support during a difficult one. Our mission on Friday nights to find the best craft beer, listening to the Bone Tones at the Cedar Cultural Club, racing to Piney Lake from Vail & hammering the Birkebeiner on our bikes, doing the Firehouse 50 together and I'll never forget running through the British Museum so we could grab a Guinness at the nearest pub. You worked hard to be the best....enjoy your rest.
Jim Robbins
July 25, 2021
A truly spirited man. Direct, joyful, loving, and loyal to his family and friends. A gardener for plants, people, and those in need. Now, a star above to guide us. We will miss his laughter and sharp wit. He played the hand that was dealt with honor and dignity. Shine on brother, shine on! His book of life sits on a shelf in our hearts offering us tears, sadness, joy and love. Telling us to fight the good fight and try to make the world a better place. Roxanne you gave him joy, peace, contentment, and love. All our love!
Gary & Susan Martland
July 23, 2021
Condolences to Bob's family. He was a wonderful person and neighbor.
Cindy Thunstrom
July 22, 2021
Roxann and family, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I have been thinking about you and am mourning with you over this terrible loss of a wonderful spirit. I have all of you in my prayers. May comfort surround you.
Julia Elliott
July 22, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Mark Ritter
July 22, 2021
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