Local patriarch, character, and all-around beloved Sapulpan Marvin Eldon Lawson celebrated his 90th birthday on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at a party surrounded by family and dear friends at the Elks Lodge.
Mr. Lawson began his remarkable life in a farmhouse with neither electricity nor running water near Wasola, Missouri in 1931. He had 4 siblings from mother Elma and father Harrison, and 16 half-siblings from his stepmother after Elma’s death.
Eventually making his way to Oklahoma, Lawson graduated from Sapulpa High School in 1950. He married Joan Lee on February 6, 1951. They had 5 children (from eldest to youngest, Gary, Diana, Kevin, Chris, and Annie), and were married for 55 years before Joan’s death in 2006.
In addition to his five children, Lawson boasts 3 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, 16 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren.
Daughter Annie Ericksten says that her father’s health is in good condition and that “he is so happy. He knows he’s led a fantastic life!” For years, Mr. Lawson was often seen riding around town on his horse Dolly, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago.
A longtime member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lawson is an “important member” of its Men’s Club. He also helped construct the old Liberty Park baseball fields, the current high school baseball fields (though the Lawson after which they are named is not a relation of his), led many boy scout troops with friends Tom Ritchie and John Sontag, and coached “countless” kids through basketball, baseball, and girls’ softball.
He also taught shop class at the high school and was an auto mechanic out of his garage for years.
“I can’t tell you how many things he’s started and helped with,” said Ericksten. “It’s always behind-the-scenes” and he refuses any accolades, but “when someone needs a hand, he helps them, no matter when or where.”
Lawson’s selfless legacy has been taught to his descendents and felt throughout the community, and one hopes it will continue to be for decades to come.