Bob Lawton left this world on his final flight Oct. 16. He was 84.
Bob was born and raised in Lycoming and attended Oswego High School. He joined the Air Force in 1957 and proudly served his country for 21 years. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.
His career in the military took him to many places around the world. His family was blessed to be able to follow him on many assignments and create lasting memories to be cherished for years to come. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 as CMsgt and moved back to Mexico, NY.
Bob worked at the James A FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant until 1997. In 1999, he and his wife bought their retirement home in their favorite assignment state, Arizona. Snowbirds for several years, they finally made Arizona their year ‘round residence in 2013.
Bob loved his country, his family, antique cars and the desert of Arizona. He was an avid golfer, hiker and “tinkerer.” He restored several antique cars over his lifetime and loved being in his garage working on his next project.
The Grand Canyon opened its trails to him on six separate hikes down to the Colorado River during his retirement years. He would say that the coldest Bud Lite was found at a place in the bottom of the canyon. Numerous trails through mountains and desert flats were explored by Bob and, even as he began to slow down a bit, he still loved a nice walk through the beautiful desert.
When not hiking he enjoyed golfing with friends and family in both Arizona and New York. He was a great patriot, respected our flag and all those who served. He loved the sound of the F16 and F35 jets from Luke AFB flying over his home.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Audrey (Drake); son Doug (Paula) Lawton of Ogden, UT; daughters Debbie (Danny) Enwright of Surprise, AZ and Denise (Brad) Birdsell of Phoenix, AZ; his grandsons Bobby Vescio of San Antonio, TX; Kevin Tonkin of Los Angeles, CA; Riley Lawton of Nashville, TN; and Ryan Lawton of Flagstaff, AZ; his granddaughters Malori (Mike) Valentine of Mesa, AZ, and Emily Heagerty of Scottsdale, AZ. He also leaves behind his sister Norma Tyler of Oswego, several great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are in care of Surprise Funeral Care.
Calling hours and services were Monday, Oct. 28.
Graveside services will be immediately following at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made to Honor Flight Arizona or Sage Hospice, Scottsdale, AZ.