February 20, 1941 – October 9, 2019
Born in Lincoln, NE
Resided in Vero Beach, FL

Louis L. Lawson

Louis L. Lawson, born February 20, 1941 (age 78), died suddenly and unexpectedly on October 9, 2019 from an apparent heart attack.

A retired Life Insurance Company Home Office Executive, who moved permanently to Vero Beach in 2014 after previously enjoying its winter seasons, he referred to Vero Beach as his adopted retirement “hometown”.

Previous residences were in Atlanta, GA; Fort Myers, FL; Overland Park, KS; and New York City.  He was a native of Lincoln, NE.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday October 23rd at 10:00 a.m. at the Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home, 1655 27th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960.

The burial service of his cremated body will be held on Wednesday October 30th at 10:00 a.m. at the Roper and Sons Funeral Home, 4300 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510.  His cremains will be interred in his family grave site at Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, NE.

Louis was a 1958 graduate of LNE High School and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1962 with a Bachelor of Music degree.  He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue his career in Opera performance.

He enjoyed success in two careers: first, performing classical music as a lyric baritone (1962-1968), followed by employment in the financial services/ life insurance business with increasing responsibilities leading to senior home office leadership roles (1968-2006).

His music career (1962-1968), included: lyric operatic baritone with Sante Fe Opera, Central City Opera of Colorado and the Metropolitan Opera Studio, various choirs in NYC, including a chorus conducted by Leonard Bernstein, and singing with the Robert Shaw professional chorale of NYC. He traveled extensively in Europe and South America and developed a conversational ability in German and Italian.

His business career (1968-2006) was in financial services, advancing to senior officer responsibilities and board member of life insurance companies, retiring from Assurant (NYSE) company with its specialty of funeral/ memorial funding. The company had been part of an international group of financial services companies based in the Netherlands.

Responsibilities with life insurance companies included national and international sales management responsibilities.

Early in his business career he was President of the Citadel Life Insurance Company of New York. His expertise and experience ranged from individual general agents, to agencies specializing in impaired risk/ substandard coverage, to estate/ financial planning, to funeral service funding.

Louis always expressed specific gratitude for the mentoring he received in business and music from very experienced musicians or businesspeople. He carried on that practice through his own mentoring of others.

Louis was a Trustee of the Funeral Service Educational Foundation (1990-2000).  He participated in Estate Planning Councils, CLU Chapters, and FLMI Chapters during his working career.

He was a member of the Atlanta Opera Guild, Vero Beach Opera Board of Directors, with annual memberships in Vero Beach Museum of Art, McKee Botanical Garden, and the Environmental Learning Center.

His professional designations included: Chartered Life Underwriter; Chartered Financial Consultant; Fellow, Life Management Institute (with distinction); and Certified Preplanning Consultant.

Louis enjoyed a wide circle of friends including high school alums, neighbors, business associates, and individuals from areas where he lived, wintered or from summers in the mountains of North Carolina. He was married twice with both marriages ending in divorce.

As a long-term survivor of ‘throat’ cancer, he lived with some limiting long term side effects of treatment, but always emphasized ‘lived’, particularly in his volunteer work with other cancer patients.

Louis was preceded in death by his father, Loyal L. Lawson, mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Lawson nee’ Van Sickle, brother, George L. Lawson and sister-in-law, Vicki Lawson.

Survivors are: nephews, David and Bryan Lawson; grandnephews, Bryce and Reggie Lawson; cousins,Todd Pearson of Chicago, and Anada Love of Kershaw, South Carolina; loving companion Mary Lou Rahn of Atlanta, GA, and furry, feline buddy “Mr. Pinky”.

Memorials may be sent to the charity of your choice or to any of those he chose.

Louis left bequests to: Harrower Summer Opera Workshop of Georgia State University; Nebraska Wesleyan University; Cleveland Clinic Scully-Welsh Cancer Center; Gifford Youth Achievement Center; Hibiscus Children’s Center, Vero Beach; Humane Society of Vero Beach/ IRC; Indian River State College Foundation; Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Program; S.E. Community College Foundation, Lincoln NE; and Vero Beach Opera, Inc.

 

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