Lowell Lawson, 78, died early Thursday morning after complications following surgery he had earlier this year.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Antioch Christian Church and he will be laid to rest at the Georgia National Cemetery near Sutallee.
Lawson was instrumental in getting the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame and active in organizing sports for senior citizens.
While Lawson suffered from complications of surgery he had earlier this year, the news of his passing took some by surprise.
Sue Malone, a member of the sports hall of fame’s board of directors, said she and the other members will “miss him so much on the board.”
Lawson had been involved with local sports for several years, acting as director for the Cherokee Senior Sports program and serving as secretary for the hall of fame.
Malone said Lawson always had great ideas and was really passionate about the sports hall of fame.
She also said he cherished his friendships with others.
“We are all going to really miss him and we are praying for his family,” she said.
Lawson also served as the senior activities coordinator for the city of Canton until 2009.
Former Mayor Cecil Pruett said he’d visited Lawson last week and “did not realize he was to this point in life.”
“It’s certainly devastating news,” he said. “He was such a great individual. He made a huge contribution to our city and county.”
Pruett said Lawson was involved in city business for about 10 years during his long tenure as mayor.
While it was his job to promote active lifestyle with seniors in the city, Pruett said Lawson reached out to everyone in the community.
“There is no question he’ll be remembered for his sincerity, his love for life and his love for his fellow mankind,” he said.
Lawson was also part of the machine that created the Carter and Elizabeth Browning Awards.
The awards are in memory of the late Carter Browning, who served as the principal of Hickory Flat Elementary for 24 years, and in honor of his wife, Elizabeth Browning, who was the school media specialist.
Linda Statham, a member of the awards committee, said Lawson’s passing is a “huge loss” to the community.
Statham said whenever Lawson took on a project, he always came to the table and was more than ready to share his thoughts and ideas.
“He always had a lot of good ideas and didn’t mind sharing those ideas with you,” she said.
Stefanie Joyner agrees. Joyner, the executive director of the Cherokee County Historical Society, added Lawson also donated his time and efforts to get the Cherokee County History Museum and Visitor’s Center up and running for the community.
Along with volunteering at the museum, Joyner added Lawson also donated money to the organization that could be used to add young people to their membership.
“He had a great sense of humor and loved to tease everyone,” she said. “He was always there when we needed him.”
Raised in Harbor Creek, Penn., Lawson graduated form Harbor Creek High School in 1951 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Gannon College in 1955.
He served in the U.S. Army and after serving on active duty in Germany, he became a U.S. Army reservist.
He later earned his master’s degree in 1960 from Tulane University.
Lawson was a missionary for over 37 years with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Lawson moved to Hickory Flat in 1994 and served as a chaplain with the Canton Police Department.
His passion for sports propelled him to write “Game Time: An Early History of Cherokee County Sports.”
Lawson is survived by his wife Ann, children Kerry Lawson, Terry Lawson, Kent Lawson and Lynn Lawson and three grandchildren.