Coach Edwin H “Butch” Lawson, the son of James H. and Leola S. Lawson, was born February 12, 1927 in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Stanton High School in 1943. During that time he was a member of The Blue Devil Football Team under Coach James P. Small. His athletic talent was evident on the gridiron as a receiver where he played two years on the varsity team. Upon graduation he attended Florida A & M University, continuing his athletic prowess under legendary coach A.S. “Jake” Gaither. A member of the 1943-1947 teams, Butch earned positions as offensive and defensive end. He also played baseball under Coach Moore. He sang bass in the college choir, became a member of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and received recognition as an all-around scholar/ athlete. He was later inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame. He earned the Master of Arts Degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, NY in 1951. With a degree in Physical Education, Butch became a teacher and coach in the Duval County Public School System, working as football, baseball and track coach at A.L. Lewis Junior High School and James Weldon Johnson Junior High School. During his time at the junior high school level, his teams won several championships in baseball and football. With his quiet, stern demeanor, Edwin was promoted to the administrative ranks and served at Stanton Vocational High School, Northwestern Jr.-Sr. High School, John E. Ford and Grand Park Alternative Schools. Butch was a founding member of the Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet and inducted into the BHITF.
Edwin loved the Lord and joined Mount Zion A.M.E. Church at an early age. He transferred his membership to Woodlawn Presbyterian Church (USA), to join his family. Living his commitment to our Lord he served as Trustee, Deacon, Elder, sang in the Chancel and Men’s Choirs, and served on numerous committees, including the Family Life Center Building Committee and the Presbyterian Men’s Organization until his health began to fail.
He was preceded in death by his parents and only brother, James N. Lawson. He is survived by his wife of nearly 58 years, Joyce Brown-Blakeley Lawson; two children: Joycelyn Elizabeth and J. Douglas Lawson (Vanita); 6 grandchildren: Rebecca, Crystal, Donald C. James ll, Atlanta GA; Mia Lockett (Delmar), Germany; Sheyana, J. Douglas ll; two great grandchildren; four sisters-in-laws: Bennie E. Alexander (Ellsworth), L. Francina Gamble, Gwendolyn E. Baker, Marguerite B. Warren; Three brothers-in-law: Leroy Baker, Japhus W. Baker, and Jimmy Baker; Nephews: Jerry Brown (New York), Japhus “Duke” Baker (Deborah), George Gamble, John Latimer; Nieces: G. Danean Taylor, Albany, NY; Delene Copeland (Hollis) Ewing, NJ; Robin Lindsey, (Larry), M. Maria Baker, Barbara Baker, Kelly Gamble Birmingham, AL; Marretta Latimer, Joanna Reid (Cheddie), Miami, FL; Close Cousins: John Bacon, Tampa, FL; Theresa Farr, Tallahassee, FL; Patricia Mitchell (Vincent), Mitch Harris (Deborah), Troy, MI; Deborah Harris, Youngstown, OH; Jane H. Logan, Chicago, IL; Two Godsons: Chaplin Col. Carl S. Young, Jr., and W. Earl Kitchings and a host of grandnieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Butch was a kind, loyal person who steadfastly held to high standards and ideals in all things. He was a thoughtful and loving husband, father, and a natural teacher who encouraged 100% effort in each undertaking. He loved his family, church, and many friends, his dogs and his yard.