J. David Lawson


Lawson, John obit picJ. David Lawson was born March 8, 1943 in Oklahoma City to Ernest and Frances (Meinert) Lawson. In 1965 he graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. In 1970 David received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

After graduating from Austin, David worked for Amoco Production Company supervising a group of engineers responsible for natural gas and oil field production operations. In 1979 he started Lawson Engineering, an engineering consulting company based in the Oklahoma City area and serving clients in Oklahoma and the surrounding states.

In his next career, Dr. Lawson was a senior environmental engineer with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), a position which he held for twenty three years. At DEQ, he was responsible for regulating some of Oklahoma’s largest and most complex industrial facilities for hazardous waste compliance. The facilities included McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Phillips 66 Refinery in Ponca City, and US Air Force bases including Tinker AFB and Altus AFB, and a number of other facilities around the state.

Dr. Lawson served as a member of an Environmental Protection Agency workgroup for the treatment of hazardous waste explosives and unexploded ordinances at the Department of Defense sites. He was also active with the Interstate Technical Regulatory Council (ITRC), a national environmental coalition that promotes innovative technologies. He was a member of ITRC technical teams and worked on defense-related technical projects. He also authored several academic articles published in the Society of Petroleum Engineers Technical Journal.

Dr. Lawson received an award from the Governor of Oklahoma for his service, loyalty and commitment. David was also awarded a Department of the Army commendation from the Commanding Colonel at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant for exceptional performance in support of the Base’s environmental mission.

Dr. Lawson significantly contributed to the protection of Oklahoma’s environment by working closely with the industry, offering common sense solutions, and sharing his knowledge with the regulated community. David was a true professional who was respected by the members of the industry and by his peers at DEQ. He will be missed by all.

David was a long term member of Oak Tree Country Club and Oak Tree Golf Club. He served as Co-Chairman of the Golf Cart Committee for the 67th Senior PGA Championship in 2006. He enjoyed playing golf and gin rummy with the other members. A special thanks to the members of both clubs for their love and support. His final wish for his buddies was to “Hit it long and hit it straight!”

David was a Registered Professional Engineer, Life Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. He is proudly the great-great grandson of Chief Joseph LaFramboise of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

Survivors include his wife Beverly, daughters Mary Kilcoyne and Susan Kelley, grandchildren Max Kilcoyne, Jack Grimes and Julia Grimes, and brother, Homer Lee Lawson. David was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Frances Lawson. David was always interested in advancing scientific causes and has donated his body to the University of Texas Medical School.

The family wishes to give special thanks to MD Anderson Cancer Care team, Dr. Suzanne Cole and staff, Dr. George Adam Vascellero, CPN Health Services, Mercy Hospice, DEQ and staff, the military bases and Phillips 66 Refinery environmental personnel and Matthews Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in his name to University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering, 301 E. Dean Keeton St., Austin, Texas 78712, or MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe, Houston, Texas 77030.

David died at home of pancreatic cancer on July 19th surrounded with love. Together David and wife Beverly had a goal for him to survive until their anniversary and her birthday of July 19th. David was an exceptional man who is loved and will be missed by many. A private service will be held at a later date.

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