Cover photo for Richard Alan Lawson's Obituary
Richard Alan Lawson Profile Photo
1934 Richard 2023

Richard Alan Lawson

September 26, 1934 — December 9, 2023



    Richard Alan Lawson, 89, passed away on December 9th, 2023, in Carbondale, Illinois.  Born in Saginaw, Michigan on September 26th, 1934, Richard grew up in the nearby town of Howell before attending Albion College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.  He went on to complete master’s degrees in English and physical education at Bowling Green University in Ohio and then attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he earned a Ph D. in English.  It was there he also met his future wife, Nancy Carole Baskin, who was earning a master’s degree in French.  Following graduation Richard accepted a position in the English department at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, retiring after 32 years of teaching, scholarship, and service at the rank of Professor of English.

    Richard loved athletics and played baseball, softball, racquetball, football, golf, tennis, and ran track.  Many summer evenings he could be found at the ball diamonds at Evergreen Park playing softball with his friends.  An accomplished photographer, Richard’s work was displayed in St. Louis, at Bridgewater College in Virginia, and countless times in galleries in southern Illinois.  He had an eye for capturing “people, places, and things in motion,” and his works adorned many homes and places of business.  Richard loved games, he played chess, checkers, Risk, and Monopoly, re-fought the battles of the Civil War and WWII, and took to the skies in games of aerial combat with his sons and friends.  Richard also loved the company of others, and on many weekends the Lawson household was host to wonderful dinner parties or fall cookouts attended by friends both old and new. 

    Richard will be most remembered as a loving husband and father, a man who made a wonderful woman very happy for over 60 years, and raised two sons who are very proud to call him dad.

    He is survived by his wife, Nancy Carole Lawson of Carbondale, and his sons Gavin Richard Lawson of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and David Alan Lawson of Tallahassee, Florida.

  Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Richard, visit


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