Jack Mitchell Lawson, 90, of Lawrence KS, passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2023, after contracting Covid 19. Jack was born the youngest of three children to Ralph and Olive Lawson of Emporia KS in 1933.
During his early childhood, he lived in Emporia KS, Neosho MO, Warsaw MO, and Louisiana MO and finally in Lawrence KS. His first job, at eight years old, was as custodian of the Varsity Theatre for $5.24 cents a week. Next, he became a paperboy for the Lawrence Journal World and always looked forward to reading the daily newspaper his whole life. A near tragic motorcycle accident nearly claimed his adolescent life and kept him from military service. Later, he became a heavy equipment operator and helped build parts of the early interstate highway system in Kansas and Oklahoma. He was a long-timemember of Operating Engineers Local 101. His love of “dozers” led to years of collecting and restoring over 30 different antique/vintage bulldozers and tractors. On occasion he would transport one or two of his favorite “Cats” to the local or regional tractor show. He was immensely proud of this hobby.
Carpentry and roofing were other skills that Jack got from his father. He never lost his desire to tell anyone how to do it “right.” For a brief period, Jack worked for the local water and gas companies. He then went on to buy, remodel and rent apartment houses. Eventually he started his own trucking company and helped local developers and clients with their hauling needs. Jack loved to work and never got used to being retired.
As a younger man Jack enjoyed square dancing, boating, water skiing, fishing, playing cards, traveling in the U.S., behind the scenes politics and served as Treasurer of The Eagles Club on 6th Street. Jack could often be found caring for the many birds and squirrels in his backyard. He also enjoyed the companionship of his dogs and cat. He loved to reach out to friends with long phone calls, loved telling jokes and had a story for anyone that would listen.
Jack was preceded in death by his mom, Olive, his dad, Ralph, his brother, Leroy, and his sister Fern. He is survived by two daughters Kathy White and Julie Fredyma, 6 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren and
Jack will be remembered as a “Dirt Genius”, Daddy-O and friend. He will be missed until we meet again in paradise.
A private service is being arranged by the family at Hubbell Hill Cemetery in Tonganoxie. Messages and condolences for the family may be made on Rumsey-Yost website. Any memorial contributions should be made to the Lawrence Humane Society, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO BOX 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.