Robert Lewis “Bob” Lawson, an honored Aberdonian and recognized coach of collegiate and international field and track competition, died at his Ocean Shores home on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. He was 78.
Bob was born in Aberdeen on January 5, 1935, the son of Lewis W. and Lois I. (Cole) Lawson. He graduated from Weatherwax High School in 1954, received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 1958 and a Master of Education from Oregon State University, Corvalis, in 1960.
While at USC he was a student coach in track and field and was the assistant coach at University of Oregon in 1959 and ’60. His career as a track coach continued at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan., 1960-62, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 1962-69, University Wisconsin, Parkside, Kenosha, Wis., 1969-81, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., 1981-83, then becoming an International Coach from 1985-99. He retired in June of 2000.
His coaching career included leading the Sri Lanka Olympic team in 1976, Saudi Arabia in 1984, twice the National Track Coach for the Philippines, twice for Bahrain and the State Department Coach of Zimbabwe.
Bob held positions in the USA Track and Field Association, N.A.I.A Coaches Association, a member of the N.A.I.A. Hall of Fame, University of Wisconsin Hall of Fame, Aberdeen High School Hall of Fame and Most Distinguished Alumni.
His interests were in physical fitness, hiking, weight training, and gave clinics in track and field in 34 states and 13 countries. He had been a member of the Master’s Track and Field since he was 39 years old. He also enjoyed fishing, clam digging and collecting wood carvings during his many travels.
Bob is survived by two sons, Troy Lawson of Friendship, Wis. and Mark Lawson of Round O, S.C.; seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Milton E. Lawson in 1950 and a sister, Alice Mae Cox in 2000.
At Bob’s request there will be no funeral services.
A card of condolence or with a memory may be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com
Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Fern Hill Funeral Home, Aberdeen.