Richard James Lawlor

July 20, 1942December 30, 2012

Richard James Lawlor, JD, PhD 70, Born July 20, 1942 in Waterbury Connecticut, to the late Richard Henry and Margaret Mary Lawlor (Reilly), passed away on December 30, 2012. He received his B.A. from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in 1964 with a Philosophy major, his Ph. D. in Psychology from Catholic University of America in 1970, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in 1972 at the Department of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he stayed to lead a long and distinguished career progressing from Assistant Professor to Clinical Associate Professor before becoming Emeritus Associate Professor until the time of his passing. He also received his J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) from Indiana University School of Law in 1979. His role at the medical center was multi-faceted and his passion for teaching was evident with long-standing mentoring of medical residents (including an Arthur B. Richter Scholar), medical students, law students, and undergraduates. His writings were prolific in the field of Forensic Psychology and will help guide the next generation of practitioners. His administrative work included service in various positions such as the Board of Directors for the Indiana Psychological Association, and as Chairman of the Indiana Psychological Association. Richard received numerous academic and professional honors including the Sagamore of the Wabash. His work doing custody evaluations is nationally known. Among many other consultation and volunteer services, he was loyal to Pleasant Run Children’s Home where he trained staff who worked with children inpatients for over 20 years. Nick’s Chili on Thursdays was also a requirement for he and his colleagues. In “retirement” he worked full time in private practice in Nashville, Indiana.

He not only gave back to his community with his profession, but also with his free time at the Mason Lodge (Worshipful Master 2007), Brown County YMCA Board of Directors, and as President of the Brown County Rotary Club 2012 where he set record collections for the Salvation Army with the help of his toddler grandchildren.

Richard loved to golf, travel, read, and share his passion for history with his son, Dr. John Lawlor (Patricia), which his daughter, Dr. Ann-Marie Hyatt (Stuart), was unable to grasp. She, however, shared his love for sports and made the former Connecticut State Champion Swimmer proud of her in various other sports. His two formerly mentioned children, their mother, Marie Lawlor (Mina), along with their spouses and combined 6 grandchildren will miss him deeply.

He is survived by his loving wife, Robyn Lawlor (Gipson), his Mother-in-law, Dolores Gipson, his Father-in-law, Bob Gipson and his three step-daughters Ginny Babbitt, Joy Lawlor, and Bobbi Monroe who will miss his love, support, and infectious humor. All of Nashville will miss Richard’s constant smile and easy going spirit.

Richard is also survived by his brother Bernard Lawlor (Elaine) and Francis Lawlor, countless nieces, nephews, and their children.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate Richard’s life on Friday, January 4 and Saturday January 5, 2013. Viewing and visitation is from 4pm- 8pm this Friday at Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home, 1682 State Road 135 North, Nashville, IN, 47448. Funeral services, mass, and burial will begin at 11am on Saturday, Jan 5 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1008 McLary Road, Nashville, IN, 47448. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Gipson-Lawlor Scholarship (High School Teacher of the Year) or the Brown Country Rotary Club. Both of these can be made through the Brown County Community Foundation, P. O. Box 191, Nashville, IN 47448.

Online condolences may be made to


  • Visitation

    Friday, January 4, 2013

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, January 5, 2013


Richard James Lawlor

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carole Baker RN

February 13, 2013

I was Dr. Lawlor's patient as a teenager over 30 years ago. He had a profound, positive impact on my life, as he no doubt did countless others. He continued to be a friend and resource into my adulthood, and as I raised my children. I am deeply saddened to know he has left this world that was bettered by his genius and selflessness. My most heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.

Debbie Sirosky

January 14, 2013

Meeting Dr. Lawler; eased my mind along with giving me the backbone to make a decision that proved to be the right one! I was referred to him by a prominent attorney that said Dr. Lawler's words were as good as gold! My condolences to his family and friends. Prayers to each of you.

Linda Brown

January 12, 2013

Mrs. Lawlor,
I would like to express sympathy at the loss of your husband, Richard. I am the woman who returned his IU class ring, and am now even happier to know I did the right thing and brought a small joy into his life with the return of a lost momento. His gift in return was not necessary, but greatly appreciated. We had a nice dinner.
I lost my mother in June of this year on Father's Day so I can empathize with your sadness. She was 80 and had a long life with us.
It appears he was an awesome man who loved and had a very loving family & friends.
Sincerely sorry for your loss.
Linda Brown

Robyn Lawlor

January 10, 2013

My darling, darling husband. Oh how I hope you know how much you meant to me, how much you are/were loved. I fell in love with you the first time I met you. I loved your wit, your wisdom, your compassionate heart & your silly smile. I so miss your goofy jokes, laughing at our favorite sitcoms, and enjoying a glass of wine together. I would love to be "bored" by your constant history lessons, and watching the History Channel with you just to be in the same room. A big part of me died with you. You were admired and respected by so many people. You left us too soon, but I feel your presence all around me. Our precious memories will always be cherished as long as I am alive. Thank you for being such a devoted loving husband.

Joseph Dorflinger

January 8, 2013

Deepest Sympathies from A St Thomas and St. Mary's Classmate and teammate at St. Thomas Joe Dorflinger Class of1964 from Meriden,Ct now Saratoga Springs,NY

January 6, 2013

classy obit

Robert Shive

January 5, 2013

A true professional who mixed his experience and insight with genuine caring for the children and families with whom he dealt...I had the privilege of working with Dr. Lawlor many times. My condolences to his family.

Mary Reynolds

January 5, 2013

Dr. Lawlor and I became acquainted 38 years ago when he was at Riley Children's Hospital working with abused children and when I was a Vigo County deputy prosecutor. We became friends and worked on numerous custody cases over the years. He was a wonderful human being and his life is an inspiration to all of us. He worked hard in his professional life and devoted the same energy and love to his personal life. He will be missed by all who knew him. His family are in my thoughts and prayers.

MaryAnn Klopfenstein

January 5, 2013

My deepest condolences to Dick's family. We were high school classmates for four years. We caught up on the 50 years since at our reunion in 2010. He was really enjoying life. Sorry to see him gone so young.

john proffitt

January 4, 2013

I have known Dick for many many years professionally. As a lawyer I have used Dick probably 100 times as an expert, both as an evaluator and as a witness. He was amazingly competent and I feel fortunate to have been able to use his services. Many families are happier today because of his intervention. I regret his passing.