WESTFIELD - Raymond C. Lawson Jr., age 67, of Westfield, died Wednesday, December 26, 2012 from injuries sustained that day in a motor vehicle accident in Columbus Twp., PA.
He was born Nov. 4, 1945 in Jamestown, NY, a son of the late Raymond C. and Katherine "Kate" (Riley) Lawson Sr.
A 1963 graduate of Mayville Central School, Ray earned his associate's degree from Coyne Electrical Technical School in 1965. He enjoyed a long career with Sears and Roebuck Company as a service technician, working out of the Lakewood, NY service center when he retired in 2005 after 40 years of service.
Ray was very active in the Westfield Fire Department, where he served as Chief from 1984-1986 and held virtually every office within the Hook and Ladder Company and Fire Department. He was also active on many committees including the Finance Committee, various truck Committees and had served as an officer of the First Aid Squad. Ray had been the chairman of the Annual Ox Roast since 1984 and head of the Chicken and Rib barbecues. He had been president of the Exempt Fireman's Association since 1986 and was a past president of the Department's past Chiefs Association. Ray was also active in the County and Statewide Fire Service, served on the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board, the Radio Committee and the R-Fire Program. He was a member of countless Fire Organizations including, but not limited to, the State and County Chiefs Associations and the Southwestern Association of Volunteer Firemen.
He was also a member of the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, where he groomed trails from 1979-1988 as well as being a member for the Chautauqua Overland Ski Marathon. He enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, motorcycling, hauling grapes for Rammelt Farms and tinkering on his own farm. He was also loved dearly by his friends in the Amish Community.
Survivors including his wife of 47 years, Felicia (Syper) Lawson, whom he married on June 19, 1965 in Mayville, NY; and his three daughters, Dawn (Robert) Betts of Westfield NY, Rachel (James) Morrison of Westfield, NY and Valerie (Dennis Odebralski) Lawson of Dunkirk, NY. Ray was the very proud grandfather of seven grandchildren that include Thomas and Ashley Betts, Taylor and Caleb Lawson, Brent and Courtney Morrison, and Dennis "DJ" Odebralski. Ray is further survived by his sister, Peggy L. Holcomb of Mayville, NY and his brother, Frederick (Rita) Himes of Dade City, FL. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Friends are invited to call on Saturday, December 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Westfield Fireman's Exempt Hall, 75 Bourne Street Westfield, NY, where the funeral will be held at 3 p.m. with Rev. Mark Teets officiating. Family will also receive friends following the service. Private burial will be at Mayville cemetery.
Ray's family suggests memorials be made to The Westfield Fireman's Exempt Assoc., 75 Bourne Street Westfield, NY, 14787 or to the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club P.O. Box #134, Mayville, NY 14757. Funeral Arrangements are entrusted to the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield, NY.
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