In Memory

Bobby Lawing

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01/10/20 11:00 PM #1    

John Hovis

Bob and I were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts together at Hawthorne Lane UMC. We received our Eagle Scout awards on the same day.. I was honored to sing for his wedding..

02/04/20 02:43 PM #2    

Katherine (Kathy) Klein (Thiry)

 After a long battle with cancer, Bobby passed on May 6th, 2010.

Bobby was such an authentic, good person. Bobby's family lived near my grandparent's homes on Providence Road (years prior to being paved) when it was still farm/ horse country.  Like his lovely family, Bobby was an eager participant, a quiet contributor, and forever a gentleman. I cannot recall ecnountering Bobby at East, or anywhere else, without his warm salutations and kind words.

 Rest in peace, Bobby.






06/22/20 03:14 PM #3    

Bill Keesler

     A few days before East's annual Honor System assembly during senior year, the Honor Council held an emergency meeting.  We had absolutely no plans for an assembly expected to last an entire class period.  When no other members had an approach to recommend, I suggested focusing on the pros and cons of having an honor system.  So began, totally innocently, one of the controversial issues that student government would face that year.

     When the assembly started, we were still somewhat flying by the seat of our pants.  But Bobby Lawing saved the day.

     Memory at our age is such an elusive thing.  I checked with a few people who attended the assembly, and few details survived.  A photo in the annual showed Jane Tucker, who is Bobby's cousin, writing at a student desk during a skit about "cheating."

     But I have never forgotten Bobby, the Honor Council co-chair, walking the floor of the packed gym for the entire period talking about honor.  With his hands gesturing constantly, he started at midcourt and walked to one corner of the bleachers, then returned, repeating the process for every part of the gym.  He fielded questions and comments from students and at least one teacher, some of them critical of the Honor System.  He never let the discussion die.  "The boy could talk," said another cousin, Scott Lawing, a sophomore almost certainly in the audience that day.  I was awestruck.

     Memories of what followed the assembly are also cloudy.  Another annual photo shows Bobby and his Honor Council co-chair, David Hobbs, conferring during a Student Council discussion of revising the Honor Code.  My memory is that by some means (probably Student Council vote or schoolwide referendum), students abolished the Honor System.  However, Byron Walthall, the 1970-71 student government president, vaguely recalls the system still being in place when he started the next school year -- though possibly without legal provision for an Honor Council.  The high school operates without an honor code today.

     In the assembly, Bobby demonstrated the steel nerves he would later exhibit in pursuing his passion -- officiating high school and college football and basketball games and 13 seasons of National Football League games.  His adult life was full, with many roles:  Husband, father, and grandfather.  Realtor and Certified Property Manager in his family's real estate business.  Real estate class instructor.  Popular Charlotte civic-club speaker.  Scoutmaster, Sunday school teacher, and occasional preacher at his childhood church.  Board chair for Aldersgate Retirement Community.

     One of the hardest things for me about our 50th class reunion is wanting to understand why some of us are living and able to attend, but others are not.  The difference is sometimes attributed to lifestyle, genetics, or divine plan.  But so many cases, at least on the surface, appear due to blind, unexplainable luck -- bad or good.  Bobby died at age 58 from cancer that initially struck his appendix.  What if his appendix had been removed during childhood after an appendicitis attack?  Might he have escaped the rare disease that claimed him in middle age?

     Bobby also was a member of a Masonic lodge, the Scottish Rite Bodies, and the Oasis Shrine Temple, an organization that financially supports a network of children's hospitals in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.  He probably spent some time at the shrine headquarters, which is the site of our reunion.  When we celebrate there next year, he certainly will be with us -- in our fond, struggling memories and in spirit.

     Godspeed, Bobby.


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