Ronald LeRoy Lawyer, 79, of Stewardson, Illinois passed away on Monday, February 14, 2022, in HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.
Ron was born on February 13, 1943, in Charleston, to John Albert and Ella Mae (Howard) Lawyer. He attended grade school in Charleston, Mattoon and Gays and graduated from Windsor High School in 1961. He met and fell in love with Ellen May Cole (Jo) when she was 13 and he was 15. It was “love at first sight” and she was his high school sweetheart and they married on January 17, 1965.
Ron attended Eastern Illinois University from 1961-1962 and worked as a management trainee for Montgomery Ward in Mattoon until he was drafted into the United States Army in September 1966. He completed a 12-month tour of duty in Vietnam from March 1967-March 1968 and was recognized for his heroic service during the North Vietnamese and Vietcong Tet Offensive attack on the Long Binh base camp in January 1968. He returned home in April of 1968 to reunite with his wife Jo and saw his 4 ½ month old daughter, Lesa, for the first time.
The army assigned him to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and he took Jo and Lesa with him to Lawton, Oklahoma. He was honorably discharged at Fort Sill in September 1968. After the Army, Ron decided to go back to school and worked on the night shift at Anaconda-American Brass Company in Mattoon but after the birth of Ron and Jo’s first son, Lance, in October 1970 he got a job in January 1971 working in the construction field office for one of the largest construction companies in the United States at that time, S.J. Groves and Sons Construction. He worked for “Groves” for 21 years. Their second son, Larry, was born in January 1974 when they lived in Chester.
Ron enjoyed the challenge of his work and was very good at what he did. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren because they all share that same attribute. They are all very good at what they have chosen to do in their lives. Because of the nature of his work, Ron and his family moved a lot, living in Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and Maryland.
Ron was very competitive in everything he did. He enjoyed bowling, playing pool and won several individual and team trophies over the years. Ron owned several old cars and enjoyed working on them but usually had to sell them when he had to move to a new construction project. When you saw Ron, you did not have to look very far, Jo was usually close behind. It was like that since their early days in high school. Ron and Jo enjoyed time together and taking care of their family which was one of the most important things for them.
Jo passed away in April 2013. Ron and Jo attended church as often as they could in the cities in which they resided during the 48 years of their marriage. They both believed they would meet again in Heaven after their life was through on this earth. Ron was not ashamed to say that he cried himself to sleep every night, missing his “Jo” for the remainder of his life.
After being widowed for eight years, Ron connected with Carole on social media. After talking with each other, they realized that they went to the same junior high school in Mattoon. They were both given a second chance with love and married in July 2021.
Ron is survived by his wife, Carole Lawyer of Stewardson; daughter, Lesa (Bobby Barker) of Granite City; sons: Lance (Crystal) Lawyer of Olmsted and Larry (Dina) of La Vale, Maryland; grandchildren: Joel Sims (Teagan), Alesha Sims (Zach Gaddie), Garrett Lawyer, Nathan Lawyer, Makayla Lawyer and Andrew Hawley; great-grandchildren: Korah and Kali Sims, Adelina and Alexander Hawley and Everett Gaddie; brothers: John (Cheryl) Lawyer and Perry (Jeanie) Lawyer; sister, Brenda (Harold) Burwell; sister-in-law, Nancy (Lee) Metcalf; stepchildren: Lori (Steve) Ludwig and Tim (Wendy) Waldhoff and numerous step-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ellen (Jo); stillborn brother, Steven Earl Lawyer and granddaughter, Cohren Hawley.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2022, in Lovins-Lockart Funeral Home in Windsor with Pastor Dave Dolan officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will take place in Windsor Cemetery with military rites by the Garrett-Baldridge American Legion Post #725 of Windsor. Memorials may be made to the donor’s favorite charity and mailed to Lovins-Lockart Funeral Home, 207 N. Oak, Windsor, IL 61957. Lovins-Lockart Funeral Home in Windsor is assisting the family.
Family and friends are invited to light a candle or share a story in Ron’s honor at wwwlockartgreenfuneralhome.com.
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