In Loving Memory of Claude Edward Lawson
(July 27, 1945 – December 19, 2020)
Claude E. Lawson, 75, of Dryden, VA, passed away peacefully with his loving wife at his side and surrounded by his family on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at home. He was a devoted husband, father, papaw, pappy, and friend. He was born and raised on a farm and was one of the hardest working men known of anyone. He attended Dryden Combined School through the 10th grade. He dropped out of school to work and help support his family. He moved to Indiana to work at General Motors and when that chapter of his life ended, Claude moved back to his home town in Lee County to raise his family. Before retiring, he worked for Westmorland Coal Company for 22 years with the majority of his years being at the Wentz No. 1 Mines. He enjoyed telling all the stories about him and his fellow coal miners, all the hard work, and how they dedicated their lives to provide for their families. Claude loved camping, fishing, and hunting in his younger years. However, he mostly enjoyed spending time with his grandkids and riding the kids around on his four wheeler. Claude, along with his wife Sandra, dedicated their marriage and opened their home to many foster children throughout the years. They considered them as their own and always attempted to guide them on the right paths of life. Claude surrendered his heart and life to the Lord, during the later years of his life. When, he became too sick to travel he dedicated every Sunday to Charles Stanley on television. He loved talking about the Lord, learning more, and encouraging everyone to serve God to their fullest. He loved spending all the time he could with his kids, grandkids and great grandkids. When, anyone mentions Claude’s name, the first thing that comes to mind is his great big smile and contagious laugh that would consume anyone around him.
Claude was preceded in death by: his maternal grandparents, Bill Deary and Mary Shuler; paternal grandparents, Dave Lawson and Fannie Bailey; his parents William Pat Lawson and Ida Deary Lawson; brothers, Emory Lawson, William Dave Lawson, and Don Lawson; sisters, Beulah Christian, and Juanita Staudinger; his sweet daughter Aryabella (Bella) Jade Lawson, all of Lee County VA; father-n-law, James Francis Tester and mother-n-law, Margaret Vernon Tester, both of Jasper, VA; his sisters-n-law, Katrina Falin, of Big Stone Gap, VA and Wanda Tester of Duffield, VA. (AKA the Out-laws)
Claude is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sandra Ann Tester Lawson of Dryden, VA; children, Randy (Amos) Lawson and wife Chrissy of Big Stone Gap, VA; Rhonda M. Lawson Fee and Husband David of Dryden VA; Timothy (Tim) James Lawson and wife Danielle, of Big Stone Gap, VA; Nevaeh Grace and Mariana Rose Lawson of the home; James (Jay) Gilmer of Tampa, FL; Amberly Diets and Husband Patrick Woodard, of Reno, NV; Cindy Byington and husband David of Weatherford, TX.
Claude loved his grandchildren with all of his heart and enjoyed having them around every chance he could. Claude once said, “You don’t know love ‘til you experience grandchildren.” He is survived by grandkids: Randall Lawson and wife Allison, of Big Stone Gap, VA; Richelle Lawson, of Big Stone Gap, VA; Trevor Lawson and Arabella Lawson, of Big Stone Gap, VA; Hannah Fee, of Dryden VA; Destiny Fee of Knoxville, TN; Preston Fee, of Dryden VA; Carolina and Sara Osborne of Big Stone Gap, VA; Stephanie Byington Bennett and husband Andrew, of Waycross GA, and Kevin Byington and wife Tasha of Jacksonville, NC.
His Great Grandchildren brought joy and a smile to his face. He is survived by great grandkids: Sophia, Sawyer, Emmalyn, and Anistyn Lawson of Big Stone Gap, VA; Jackson Lee Bennett of Waycross, GA; and Lillian Grace Byington of Jacksonville, NC. Sister, Fannie Mary Blanken, of Dryden VA; special sister-n-law Brenda Lawson, nephews, Junior Lawson, Mark Lawson and wife Paula; Donald Staudinger and wife Kimberly; Thomas (T.T.) Staudinger and son Cayden; Robert (Little Red) Lawson; Donnie Lawson and wife Trevia; Rocky Lawson; Tommy Lawson; Benji Lawson; and Johnny Blanken and wife Denise; nieces, Deborah Lawson, Lisa K Lawson Calton, Nancy Staudinger Smith and husband Rick, and Sue Ann Lawson; special brother-n-law, Thomas (Tommy) Tester; nephew, Jeremy Tester; nieces, Jennifer Tester Hobbs; Amanda Tester Blevins; and Paige Tester Butler. Claude was survived by many great nieces and nephews, cousins, other family and very special friends.
Claude was so proud of his family! He found joy in telling how proud he was of each and every one of us. Know that family meant everything to him, and he loved each and every one. The family would like to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers, and would like to ask that you continue to remember them in the days to come. The family extends a warm thank you to everyone that called, sent messages, brought food and prayed with us and for us. The family would like to express their gratitude to Litton’s Family Medicine, St. Charles Black Lung Clinic, Capris Hospice and Province Funeral Home.
Due to complications and restrictions of Covid-19 there will be no visitation services or gathering held at the Funeral Home per family’s request. The funeral and graveside services will be joined together and officiated by Pastor Tommy Ely. Graveside services will be held Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at 1:30 pm at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens in Big Stone Gap, VA. Address is 5650 Powell Valley Road, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Family and friends are asked to meet at Province Funeral Home in Pennington Gap, VA at 12:30 pm to go in procession to the cemetery. Everyone is to remain in their personal vehicles in the Province parking lot due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Once the procession reaches the cemetery, anyone attending the graveside services is encouraged to wear a mask and social distance. Province Funeral Home of Pennington Gap, VA are honored to be serving the family of Claude E. Lawson.
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