On Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, beloved mother, grandma and great-grandma Doris Dean Lawson passed away after a long, courageous fight with kidney disease.
Doris had a life that read like a novel, starting with an affluent childhood in North Carolina that ended when her parents divorced when she was five.
From affluence she, along with her sister, Juanita, were placed in the care of her maternal grandmother, a staunch Southern Baptist, who lived in a three-room house, a shack really, in the deep south, that had kerosene lanterns, a wood stove, no running water, an ice box, and no indoor plumbing.
She worked in the cotton fields in the summer, pulling a sack behind her and bleeding from the scratches on her hands. She wore homemade clothes and washed her hair with lye soap.
At the eighth-grade level she was pulled from school to work on the farm full time. This childhood experience had a lasting influence on her. When her mother re-married she was in her teens and remembered traveling to Japan shortly after the end of the war. Imagine the culture shock on both sides as most Japanese had never seen a Western woman, let alone a blonde!
At the age of 17 she married and had two children, James and Juanita. The marriage ended after five years and at that time she moved to Mountain Home to stay with her mother and her step-father, who was stationed there.
There she met John Lawson who would be her husband of 52 years, until his passing in December of 2008.
Doris had a sly sense of humor and a quick wit.
She was very proud of obtaining her GED and attending classes at the University of Idaho.
She traveled extensively with John, following him throughout his military career.
Besides raising eight children she almost always had one, if not two jobs outside the home, and was very involved with caring for her grandchildren.
She is survived by her son, James, daughter Juanita Taylor and granddaughter Hanna White (Brian) and great grandchildren Patrick and Josie, daughter Barbara Swanstrom (Pete) and grandchildren Kristin and Kevin, daughter Rebecca Chant Flynn (Tom) and grandchildren Amarisa and Adriana and great-grandchild Maia, daughter Darella Blackwell (Kenneth) and grandchildren Michael and Daniel, son John Jr. (Lori) and grandchildren Kyle and Kameron, son David, and son Erik (Becky) and grandchildren Ian and Charlie.
Services will be held at Summers Funeral Home in Boise on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. Doris will be buried at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.