Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 5:17 PM on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Martis Alan Lawson


Martis Alan Lawson

Nov. 4, 1950-Sept. 5, 2011

Former Homer resident Martis Alan Lawson, known by most as Alan, age 60, died on Sept. 5, 2011, of complications from liver cancer. He was a full-time professor of business law for 22 years at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. He had recently retired after being diagnosed with cancer in June.

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Lawson was a structural steel buyer for Crest Steel Corporation in Carson, Calif., where he coordinated customer requirements in the U.S. and Japan. He later moved to C.F. Braun Company in Alhambra, Calif., where he was a senior contract administrator involved in refinery projects in Texas and Kuwait. In 1989, Dr. Lawson and his family lived in Homer, where he was a contracts manager for Veco Corporation. In Homer, Dr. Lawson coordinated the contracts for over 200 marine vessels assigned to the Kenai Peninsula. He made lifetime friends in Homer and fully intended to go fishing again in Kachemak Bay once he retired.

Alan Lawson was born Nov. 4, 1950, in Columbus, Ga., to James Arnold Lawson and Myrtle McDanal Lawson. While growing up, his family moved to Utah and settled in California. He was a 1968 graduate of Bonita High School in La Verne, Calif., where he played baritone in the marching band and excelled in the 120-high hurdles. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served an LDS mission in Scotland. He attended Brigham Young University for two years and graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor of arts in English. He held a master of business administration from the California State University, Los Angeles, and a juris doctorate from the American College of Law.

Dr. Lawson was a highly-regarded professor who brought his knowledge of international business into the classroom. He developed the college paralegal program and coached their mock trial team to several regional championships. Every semester, he presented his slide-show on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill to a keen audience of students and faculty. A proud Scot and talented bagpiper, he carried out a tradition of giving his final exams dressed in full Scottish Highland regalia accompanied by his well-trained Scottish terrier, MacDuff.

A Mt. San Antonio College colleague shared the following in his memory: "As Kahlil Gibran states, 'Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer the flower withers, but the seed remains.' The seed that Alan left us with is his love and passion for teaching."

Dr. Lawson is survived by his children by his former wife Kathleen Roubidoux Lawson: Sarah of Auburn, Wash., Martis Jr. of Alta Loma, Calif., Daniel of Kure, Japan, and Colin of San Luis Obispo, Calif. A memorial was held on Sept. 23, 2011, in the LDS Church, La Verne Ward, Califa. An on-line guestbook for remembrances of Martis Alan Lawson can be found on Legacy.com. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Mt. San Antonio College Foundation, 1100 N. Grand Avenue, Building 12A, Walnut, CA 91789.