April 7th, 2015

Robert N. Lawson passed away at home May 8, 2013 at the age of 84. He was born September 7, 1928 to Thomas and Dorothea Lawson, in Woodstock, Illinois. Robert lived for ten years in Northern Illinois (until his mother died), then moved to Southern California with his father. On August 10th 1951, after 2 yrs of college at UCLA, Robert entered the Air Force. After basic training, Robert married Naomi Wade on October 6, 1950 in Eugene, Oregon, 4 months into the Korean Conflict. Robert had signed up for Air Force navigation training at Ellington AFB, Texas, and was separated from Naomi for most of the first two years of their marriage. Robert’s 20-year Air Force career included 27 combat missions as a navigator on a B-29 crew during the Korean War, being lead navigator on about a third of those missions. Robert then went into Air Force Reserves and was assigned to Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, just south of Kansas City, MO. Major Robert Lawson retired from the Air Force in 1988. Immediately after active duty, Robert enrolled at the University of Kansas where, over the years, he earned five degrees. Dr. Lawson started teaching at Washburn University in Topeka Kansas in 1963 and over 31 years, taught Shakespeare, English Literature, freshman comp, and several years of Japanese Literature before retiring Professor Emeritus in 1994. Dr. Lawson shared his love of literature and theater through his poems, sonnets and plays, as well as The Woodley Press, Inscape, and Kansas Authors Club.

Robert was preceded in death by Naomi, his wife of 62 years. Robert is survived by his sister, Barbara Jean (Hayter) Yakima, WA; three brothers, Tomas of Colville, WA, Russell of Sweet Home, OR, and George, of Laguna Beach CA; four sons and their families, Lewis and Nancy Lawson, Tamantha and Todd Hockenbury and their children, Montana, Tanner, and Keat; Tim and Lori Byers, and their children, Tre and Will, all of Lawrence, KS; Eddie and Cindy Lawson and Elijah, Dee Lewis and John Edward Lawson, all of Topeka; Mark and Toria Lawson, of Huntington West Virginia; Jeff and Tammy Lawson, Alex and Nicholas, of Topeka. An open house will be Monday, May 20, 2013, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the family’s home at 1503 SW MacVicar Avenue, Topeka, Kansas. Memorial contributions may be made to Cancer Society in Robert’s name, or Helping Hands Humane Society in name of his faithful companion, Pug.

Penwell-Gabel Funeral Homes, Crematory & Cemetery – Funerals and Cremation Topeka, KS

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