10/31/07 - NNHS Newsletter - Bill Lawson
William Edward Lawson, Jr.
Newport News High School Class of 1940
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
We have yet another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter this morning. Former Newport News City Manager William E. Lawson Jr., Class of 1940, passed away Sunday, October 28, 2007 in Newport News at the age of 84.
From the Daily Press - 10/30/07:
Former Newport News City Manager William E. Lawson Jr., who began buying the
land in Oyster Point that later became a vital part of the city, died Sunday
Lawson, 84, who grew up on Post Street in Hilton Village, was city manager from 1965 to 1976.
He helped carry out the acquisition of the Oyster Point land, between Jefferson Avenue and Interstate 64, from J. Clyde Morris Boulevard to Oyster Point Road. The land — once swamp — previously was owned by the federal government to house U.S. Air Force ammunition storage bunkers, said Newport News City Councilman William Haskins.
"He had to manage that process, and he did a good job," Haskins said. "We got a tremendous return on our investment."
The land was drained and developed and now is a key section of the city. It is not only home to offices and manufacturing sites, but also became the site of City Center at Oyster Point, a public-private shopping and residential development surrounding a central fountain. City offices are increasingly being based there instead of downtown.
Haskins said Lawson also was involved in establishing Newport News Park. Though the park was the vision of his predecessor, Joseph C. Biggins, who held the city manager's job for 40 years, Lawson "brought it to fruition."
Lawson's tenure wasn't without controversy. The City Council asked him to resign in 1976, following Lawson's ouster of a police chief and an assistant city manager. Though the moves were Lawson's prerogative, some on the City Council were miffed he didn't run it by them first.
Haskins was one of the council members who
asked for Lawson's resignation, but Haskins said Lawson never held a grudge.
The two lived near each other in the Hidenwood section, and they spoke when
they saw each other.
Copyright © 2007, Newport News, Va., Daily Press
From the Daily Press - 10/31/07:
|William Edward Lawson, Jr.|
NEWPORT NEWS - William Edward Lawson Jr., 84, died Saturday, Oct. 28, 2007.
He was a lifelong resident of Newport News and was the City Manager of Newport News from 1965 to 1976. He was a member of North Riverside Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and was a lifetime member of the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army.
Bill graduated from VMI and was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII.
He is survived by his loving wife of 16 years, Audre Sharpe Atkins Lawson; three children, Deborah Ann Davis, William E. Lawson III, and William Reed Atkins Jr., and his wife, Nancy; and three grandchildren, William E. Lawson IV, William Atkins, and Amanda Atkins.
The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, at W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at North Riverside Baptist Church with Dr. R. Furman Kenney and the Rev. Joshua Speight officiating. Burial will follow in Peninsula Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to North Riverside Baptist Church, 311 Selden Road, Newport News, VA 23606, or to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 7529 Hampton, VA 23666.
Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home.
Published in the Daily Press on 10/31/2007.
|William, Deborah and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. We know that your father will be reunited with all those he loved. He will be missed by those he left behind.|
Kenneth Potts, Jr.
(Chula Vista, CA) - October 31, 2007
|Sorry to hear of your Loss. May the Good, loving memories you have had together stay with you the rest of your days to remind you of his life and spirit! -Randy Hudgins (Former Co-worker of W.E. Lawson III at Gibbs & Cox & Resident of Riverside Community)|
(Hampton, VA) - October 31, 2007
Our sincerest sympathies are extended to the entire Lawson family at this time.
Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!
Love to all, Carol
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