Edgar Herbert Lawton Jr.

IN MEMORIAM: A Life Well-Lived
Edgar Herbert Lawton, Jr., 93, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 4, 2023, surrounded by family. Edgar was born on July 12, 1929, in Hartsville, SC, to the late Edgar Herbert Lawton and Louise Amis Lawton. He embodied a true Southern gentleman, known for his kind spirit, unwavering commitment to his family, and numerous contributions to the community. A celebration of Edgar’s life will be held on Monday, May 15, at 11:00 a.m. at Magnolia Cemetery in Hartsville, SC. The Directors of Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home are caring for the Lawton family.

Edgar’s dry wit and charm left an indelible mark on all who knew him. Friends often called him a walking historian, mentor, and philosopher. Edgar was generous and thoughtful, bestowing his warmth, knowledge, and support upon those he met, leaving a lasting and meaningful impression. He was an avid reader with a keen intellectual curiosity, always eager to engage in discussions.

In his youth, Edgar adored his dog Rolly, riding his horse Stoney, boating and swimming on the lake, and raising Henrietta, his hen. With a lifelong love for the mountains, he cherished vacation time at his home in Blowing Rock, NC, hiking with family and friends. He enjoyed classical music and the arts but especially loved entertaining with his guitar. His repertoire of songs still resonates today.

Edgar adored bluebirds and delighted at the rare visit of a painted bunting. An enthusiast of classic cars, Edgar was passionate about his 1936 Bentley, creating memorable experiences at Camden steeplechases, car exhibitions, and family weddings. As a skilled pilot, Edgar relished the freedom of flying and travel. He took much pride in his vegetable garden and Dahlia’s. He regularly played tennis and, in later years, developed a fondness for golf. Edgar perfected the art of bread baking and delighted his family with mouthwatering pot roasts.

Edgar attended Woodberry Forest School in Orange, Virginia, before graduating from Princeton University in 1951 and Harvard Business School in 1953. He served as a naval officer during the Korean War in the Western Pacific. Edgar first met his devoted wife, Nan Davidson, in Long Beach, California, on a blind date, and they were married for 65 years. Upon returning to Hartsville, Edgar dedicated himself to the family business, working tirelessly as President of the Hartsville Oil Mill until his well-deserved retirement.

Throughout his life, Edgar served on the boards of several organizations, including Sonoco Products, NationsBank Carolinas, Coker University, and the Blowing Rock Country Club. He was Chairman of the Coker Foundation Board for 59 years, President of the National Cotton Seed Products Association, a Founding Director of the Byerly Foundation, Board Chairman and Life Trustee of Oldfields School, Chairman of the building committee for McLeod Hospital in Florence, SC, and was appointed to the Board for the original Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. Edgar remained active in the Hartsville Men’s Discussion Group until his passing. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Hartsville and enjoyed attending the Methodist Church in Blowing Rock during the summers.

On June 29, 1957, Edgar married Nan Davidson, and they raised a beautiful family of four children: Drusilla, Edgar III (Tru), John (Heidi), and Louise. The family later expanded to include ten grandsons: Alexei Cree, Justin Cree, Luke Cree, Miles Cree, Edgar Lawton IV (Mary Catherine), Henry Lawton, James Lawton, Owen Lawton, Ethan Lawton, and John Robert Lackey, as well as one granddaughter, Mary Lawton. Edgar was also blessed to become the great-grandfather of Evelyn and Lillian Lawton. He is survived by his nephew, Dr. Joseph J. Lawton III, who cared for him for 20 years, and his wife, Coles, and their children, Coles, Louisa, and James Lawton. Edgar was predeceased by his younger brother, Joseph J. Lawton, Jr.

The family is grateful for the many caregivers who provided their support and wonderful neighbors who were always there when needed. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to Coker University, 300 East College Avenue, Hartsville, SC 29550.


Author: Stephan Drew

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Posts Remaining