Ron Lawson, who served one term as a Lacey City Council member between 2009 and 2013, died last Friday at Providence St. Peter Hospital, his wife, Jane, said Monday. He was 76.
Jane Lawson, who said she was married to Ron for nearly 46 years, remembered him as vibrant, self-directed and happy. He also loved being on the council.
“I think that was the highlight of his life,” she said.
Lawson won a seat on the council after he defeated Graeme Sackrison in 2009. He then lost it to Michael Steadman in November 2013.
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Virgil Clarkson, who was both mayor and deputy mayor during Lawson’s tenure, said Lawson did some outstanding work on both his city council committees and inter-jurisdictional duties as a council member.
“We had a great relationship, and we tried to do the best we could for the city,” Clarkson said Monday night.
Clarkson said that Ron cared deeply for Jane.
“I’m extremely sorry that she has lost him at this time,” he said.
Lawson was known for his vocal support of medical marijuana. He used it to treat chronic pain. Lawson had been seriously injured in a car accident on his way home from Aberdeen on Dec. 31, 1999. He spent five weeks in the hospital, including two weeks in a coma, and underwent more than 20 surgeries.
Jane Lawson said she was sometimes embarrassed by his advocacy — she once told him to “tone it down” — but she also acknowledged that medical marijuana had helped his glaucoma.
“Nothing could stop him when he got an idea in his mind,” she said.
Lawson was admitted to Providence St. Peter Hospital earlier this year for congestive heart failure and later contracted pneumonia. He spent time at a rehabilitation facility called ManorCare and returned home on Feb. 25, she said.
He seemed to be getting better, she said, but he also had lost a lot of weight in the past year, falling to about 140 pounds from 250 pounds.
He passed away Friday morning and was thought to have died from pneumonia, she said.
Lawson is survived by a brother in Puyallup, a sister in Idaho and a daughter from a previous marriage.
At his request, there will be no funeral service. He wanted to be cremated, she said, and have his ashes scattered at sea.