David A. Lawson

November 7, 1932February 4, 2019

GASTON, SC – David A. Lawson, 86, passed away on Monday, February 4, 2019. Mr. Lawson was born November 7, 1932 in Knoxville, TN, and was the only son of the late Corenna Parrott and Arthur N. Lawson. Predeceased by his adoring wife of 60 years, Mildred Benedict Lawson, he is survived by their six children, David A. Jr., Sandra J., Stephen L., R. Scott (Joani), Carol, Susan (Barry Shuster) Lawson and ten grandchildren; his sisters, Margaret (the late John V.) Smith and Anna Mae (the late Rod) Heiser; brother-in-law, Bert (Kathleen) Benedict and many beloved nieces and nephews. Mr. Lawson was a Research and Design Engineer, a master gardener, a bee keeper and a family man. He was also a life-long learner, an avid reader, and a major supporter of the Arts, including the symphony orchestra and the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education. Memorials may be made to the USC School of Music, 813 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29201. Visitation for David A. Lawson will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, West Columbia Chapel, 820 W. Dunbar Rd. Funeral services will be at 12:00 noon, interment immediately following at Southland Memorial Gardens.


  • USC School of Music


  • Visitation Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Burial following the service Saturday, February 9, 2019

David A. Lawson

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Kris Quinto

February 18, 2019

Kris Quinto wrote: "So excuse this long post. I normally don't express myself like this but today I will. I spent this morning and afternoon at a funeral for someone I have never met. He is the father of some people I know. I went in support of my friends and walked away wishing I had the pleasure of meeting him. The stories that were told of him from family and friends were incredible. I walked out of there feeling like I knew him even though we never had the chance. That being said, enjoy and cherish the time you have with your parents and grandparents. We lost my Mom at the age of 44 and my Father just 3 short years ago. Our grandparents have been gone since I was 25 years old. I am not saying this for any sympathy but to make sure you enjoy your time with your family. Family born out of blood and friendship should never be taken for granted. I don't say it enough but I ❤ you to my family and friends."

Carol Zdan

February 17, 2019

Carol Zdan

February 17, 2019

I will miss you Dad, but I am comforted knowing that you are back with Mom again.

Joe Esterson

February 11, 2019

Joan and I are so sorry to hear about David's passing.

I will never forget him. He was always so dedicated to working with Harvey, and so brilliant and innovative. His perpetual friendly smile and upbeat personality were also such an extra gift to us when he would visit the Gordon Center.

All our heartfelt sympathies to his wonderful family.


Donna Carver

February 9, 2019

Thank you Sandra for contacting me last evening about David’s passing. I really appreciate it. The last time I spoke with your Dad he called me after Tommy’s death and he was in the hospital. It was wonderful hearing from him even though, as he explained, he was having some very serious problems with his own health. Tommy and I really loved your Dad and Mom and they will both be truly missed. Tommy loved his visits with your Dad while he was on the road working and we both loved our visits with all of your family at your famous July 4th family reunions there at your home. Please give all your family my love and condolences and know that all of you will be in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you all the comfort you need to get through this very difficult time.
Donna Carver


February 7, 2019

David was our beloved uncle. We are fortunate to have many fond memories with him. We will never forget everything that was so special about him. We are blessed that he was in our lives. Our hearts are very sad at this time. We find some comfort in this verse: "Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end, they just mean we'll miss you, until we meet again". He will always be in our hearts.
John and Martha Smith

Lynda Gordon

February 7, 2019

I say goodbye to David with a heavy heart for those of us left here on earth, but I believe he is reunited with his beloved Milly and they will forever be together in Heaven. My best memories of David were of he and Mike sitting at the little game table that we used as a dining room table so many years ago when we first got together, working on Harvey. They were so excited and so committed to the project the they didn't mind the cramped space to work, and they even put up with my cats who thought all that paper was fun to jump into! I will also remember the July 4th parties in SC and how they both loved to sing with the band. They were a pair those two and now they have been reunited forever as well. Perhaps Heaven will produce a Harvey or use Dave and Mike's collaboration on another project. I will miss them all, Dave, Milly, Michael, but there is some degree of happiness for their being together and knowing that one day I will see them again.

Barry Issenberg

February 7, 2019

I am reminded by the West Point cadet maxim that summaries David's approach to life and his influence on others:

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.

Hundreds of thousands of learners are trained each year in more than 70 countries around the word, and are saving lives, because David risked more, cared more, dreamed more and expected more.

Barry Issenberg

February 7, 2019

From George Kondos, MD University of Illinois, Chicago

I am so sorry to hear. My deepest sympathies to David’s family.

I will always, always, always remember his kindness!

Barry Issenberg

February 7, 2019

From John Maxey of Laerdal Medical who worked closely with David and the Texas branch of Laerdal.

So sorry to hear of David’s passing,... I know that David was a true inspiration to many others and I will always remember him as a brilliant engineer but more importantly as a true Southern Gentlemen.

I will be keeping his family and my Gordon Center family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.