Betty Jane Lawson

April 13, 1928June 24, 2013

Betty Jane Lawson of South Bend Indiana passed away peacefully on June 24, 2013 in Clearwater Florida. Betty was born on April 13, 1928 in Dayton, Ohio where she spent her childhood attending Fairview White High School where she graduated in 1946. Following High school she married her husband Douglas E. Lawson in 1949. Moving to South Bend Indiana she and her husband Douglas started a family raising three wonderful children. Later in life she decided to go to college and earn her BS in secondary education from the Indiana University of South Bend in 1971. She continued her drive for education finishing her Masters degree in guidance counseling in 1974 and also earned her Doctorate in school administration in 1977. Following her passion of education, Betty started working with South Bend community schools as a teacher, counselor and assistant principal. But this was only the beginning of her positive impact in public service. In 1988 she served as state senator for district 9 from 1988 to 1992 helping pass many legislative bills to improve child care, protect the environment and to have a unit on teaching about the signs of breast and testicular cancers in high school. While working hard in the senate she also served on the board of health and human services, environmental and consumer affairs, the agriculture and small business committee, and served as the minority assistant to the caucus chair. After her respectful career Betty when on to be honored for outstanding support for children, her legislation for migrant health centers, and support for the homeless and friends of nursing home residents. IN 1993 she went on to be honored by the IUSB, receiving the Distinguished Education Alumni Award. Betty always worked hard serving on board of the First United Methodist Church, Planned Parenthood and the YMCA. During the 1990’s she served on the Mental Health Assn board, Indiana Job training Council, St Joseph Workforce Development Council, Advisory Council on Aging, the American Association of University Women, Indiana University Education Division Alumni board, Knollwood Country Club Board, the League of Women Voters, and served as the chair of the United Nations for their 50th anniversary in 1995. Her various other memberships included : Phi Delta Kappa, St. Joseph Co, Democratic Women’s Club, Business & Professional Women’s club. Betty is pre deceased by her husband of 63 years, Douglas. She is survived by her children: William and wife Faythe, Constance and husband Harley, and Craig and wife Susan, Grandchildren: Brandon, Ashley and Nicholas. There will be a memorial service in her honor planned for a later date. The family asks that in lieu of flowers please make donations to the Mental Health Association.


Betty Jane Lawson

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Connie Smith

July 2, 2013

Mom moved to Florida in January of this year. I will always cherish the memories of our time together. Special times like Mothers Day where we celebrated with three generations of women in our family. Everyday times like our trips to the library and spending the day reading together. I know that Mom will always be with me in spirit and in my heart forever.

Alma and Bill Powell

July 2, 2013

Betty and I met professionally in the early 70s. We soon became good friends and travelled many roads together. I will miss her positive spirit and the many Friday night dinners we had for over 30 years. The State and community are greater because of her political, educational, and volunteer efforts. My sympathy goes out to her family who was the light of her life. May God Bless her good soul.

Kay Easton

July 1, 2013

With sadness I read of Betty's passing. She was a good friend and an inspiration to those of us who knew her. My sympathies to her children and grandchildren.

June 30, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with you
in this time of sorrow.
May your hearts be filled with happy memories,
that we will also cherish.
In loving thoughts of Aunt Betty.

Jerry and Diana Lawson Roberts

June 30, 2013


June 30, 2013

I served as a Page for Senator Lawson when I was in 8th grade in 1989. I will always remember her kindness and how approachable she was. I am so saddened by her passing but thankful for the champion she was for education. She will never be forgotten.
-Franklin N. Sheneman II