Richard Lawson dies in mainland hospital; long-time contractor, former port commissioner

Richard Lawson, a well-known contractor whose roots on the island date to 1856, died early today in a mainland hospital. He was 66, his daughter-in-law Leah Lawson said.

Mr. Lawson died at 6 a.m. this morning in University of Washington Medical Center, Leah Lawson said. He died from thyroid cancer, she said. Mrs. Lawson said her father-in-law had beaten thyroid cancer before and had been given a "clean bill of health," but the recurrence was sudden.

Mr. Lawson was a descendant of Peter Lawson, who came to the San Juan Islands from Denmark in 1856; and Fanny (Deardon) Lawson, who arrived in Victoria on a bride’s ship from Manchester, England.

Mr. Lawson owned and operated Richard Lawson Construction since 1971. The company does commercial, industrial and residential work. He also owned a quarry. He served a year on the Friday Harbor Port Commission in the early 1980s.

"He's the last one we'd expect would fall," his cousin, Darby Lawson, said. "He was always so healthy. I still think of him as being 30. I don't think of him as 67."

Mr. Lawson's survivors include his mom, Jeri; sons, Chris, Richard and Tom; brother, Victor; sister, Ruthie Paull; and seven grandchildren.

More information will be posted when received.

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