Jack W. Lawson

Jack W. Lawson

Feb. 17, 1931 – July 10, 2019

Longtime Alaskan Jack W. Lawson, 88, passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at home in Nikiski from heart failure.

A private family committal service was held at Ft. Richardson National Cemetery.

Jack was born Feb. 17, 1931 in Van Buren, Arkansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on April 8, 1948, and served until his honorable discharge on April 7, 1957.

Jack came to Alaska prior to statehood with the Air Force. His work in military radio operations took him all over the state. Ultimately falling in love with Alaska, he decided to make it his home and started his family here.

Jack moved to Cantwell in the early 1970s, where he built the Jack River Inn/Reindeer Mountain Lodge. Later, around the time of the Intertie power project he bought the lodge and operated it until his wife, Jan’s, death in 2006.

Jack was a small aircraft pilot and loved flying. Always an adventure seeker, Jack is known to have flown his plane under the Hurricane Bridge not long after it was built.

Since his wife’s death, Jack lived full-time with his daughter, Kelly. Though Jack suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for many many years, he remained a strong, determined and loving man until the end of his life.

Jack’s wish was to die with dignity in his own home and his wish was honored. Jack passed away after a beautiful evening with friends at his home with his daughter Kelly by his side. Jack will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Jack was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley “Jan” Lawson, and daughter, Winnie Lou Lawson Tirmenstein.

He is survived by his daughter, Kelly J. Lawson of Kenai; son, Frederick Lawson of Soldotna; granddaughter, Sara Tirmenstein of Soldotna; great-granddaughter, Kyleigh Gaffney of Soldotna; daughter, Angie Sawzak and husband, Brant, and their children, all of Oregon; sister, Susie Scott and husband, Ron; niece, Katy Wade; aunt, Billie Gregory, and cousin, Ron Gregory and his wife, Colleen, all of California.

Rather than flowers, the family would like memorial donations sent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (www.michaeljfox.org).

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.