Naomi Lawson, 79, Topeka, passed away April 24, 2012, after her battles with ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and finally, cancer of the liver.
Naomi was born April 30, 1932 in Merced, CA, the daughter of Edward and Hazel Dodd Wade. Her family moved to Eugene, Oregon, in 1950 where Naomi graduated in the first class from Willamette High School. The seven-member family lived in a tent at the back of the lot while the family home was built. Naomi met Robert Lawson as he was building a garage apartment across the street.
Robert and Naomi married on October 6, 1950, 4 months into the Korean Conflict. He had signed up for Air Force navigation training in Texas, and the couple were separated for most of the first two years of their marriage. The Air Force then brought them to Topeka. They lived in both Lawrence and Topeka while he worked on and received 4 degrees from KU.
Naomi’s greatest passion was The Topeka Civic Theater. Strangely enough, she never acted in a play, but did everything else, including stage managing a number of plays in the mid and late ’70s. Finally, Naomi was stage manager of, “The Good Doctor,” which won a national competition in 1979, and was invited to compete in Dublin, Ireland. Naomi was elected to the Topeka Civic Theatre Hall of Fame in 1993, and had been working in the costume shop on almost every play in the later years. Everyone there knows Naomi and she will be missed.
Naomi was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles and Delmer. She is survived by her husband, Robert, her four sons, and their wives and families:
Lewis and Nancy Lawson and family, Tamantha and Todd Hockenbury and their children, Montana, Tanner, and Keat. Tim and Lori Byers, and their children, Tre and Will, all of Lawrence, KS; Eddie and Dee Lawson and John Edward, and Cindy Lawson and Elijah, all of Topeka; Mark and Toria Lawson, of Huntington, West Virginia; Jeff and Tammy Lawson, Alex and Nicholas, of Topeka; Naomi’s sister Marnie Casperson and husband Bob and their extended family in and around Eugene, Oregon; her brother Mack, and Leslie Wade of Soldotna, Alaska.
A Celebration of Naomi’s Life will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2012, at Topeka Civic Theatre, 3028 SW 8th, Topeka, KS.
Memorial contributions may be made to Topeka Civic Theatre in Naomi’s name, or Helping Hands Humane Society in Pug’s name who was recently adopted by Naomi, and also survives.
To leave a special message for the family online, please visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.