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Donald C. Lawson of The Villages, Florida (formerly of Old Forge, NY) passed away on
March 14, 2019. He was born on June 4, 1933 in Ithaca, NY. He served his country
honorably in the Army during the Korean War as a member of the 701st Military Police
Battalion. He was highly honored to be chosen to represent the US at a meeting held in
Eto Jima, Japan that included representatives from six other countries. He became a life
member of the American Legion Post 893 and received a certificate of appreciation in
recognition of outstanding service. His career began as a commercial sign painter when
he apprenticed under the renowned G.J. Havonic. In 1961 Don wed Marleen (Marty)
Lockwood in Ithaca. His passion and love of bowling led them to Old Forge in 1965 to
own and operate Northern Lanes bowling center. Being a visionary and an
entrepreneur, Don designed and had built two 60 foot passenger boats (the Clearwater
II and the Uncas) to start a tour boat business, Old Forge Lake Cruises. He created his
own sign painting and printing business to market area businesses as well as his own.
For many summers he happily delivered mail along the Fulton Chain of Lakes aboard a
20 foot passenger boat that he designed and built with the help of his longtime friend,
Tiny Lehnen. His love of comedy prompted his idea to open Club 28, a place to gather,
laugh and sing karaoke. Don and Marty retired to The Villages, FL in 1999 but most
summers were spent on the Erie Canal living on their 38 foot trawler. Bowling was a
lifelong sport and he proudly achieved a 794 series at age 78. He enjoyed golf, making
furniture (most often with a boat theme), watching the Yankees and spending time with
family and friends. He cherished memories of the many friends he made along the way.
He was generous, positive, determined and had a great sense of humor. He could find
the funny in most any situation. He is survived by Marty, his loving wife of 57 years, his
children: Laray Van Slyke of Las Vegas, NV, Jay (Jamie) of Whitesboro, NY, and Valie
(Joe) Sullivan of Colchester, CT, his beloved grandchildren Abby and Kevin Van Slyke,
Kaycie and Sydney Lawson and Connor and Griffin Sullivan, his sister Susan Hollister,
nieces, nephews and extended family. He was predeceased by sister Doris Holl.
Arrangements entrusted to Baldwin Brothers of Wildwood, FL. A graveside service will
be held in Old Forge, NY at the convenience of the family.