Posted on 2/2/14
bob lawtonCENTRAL CITY, Ky. – Robert Allison Lawton, 93, of Central City, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. Bob was born in Central City, Ky. on Dec. 2, 1920 to James Bryant and Janie C. Lawton. Lawtown graduated from Central City High School in 1938 where he played basketball for the Central City Golden Tide. He attended Murray State University before graduating from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. in 1942. Following graduation from college, he enlisted in the US Navy, earning the rank of Captain. He served as an officer on the "USS Case" assigned to duty in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1945.

Following discharge from the Navy in 1945, Lawton returned to his beloved Central City to join his father and mother in the property and casualty, family run, insurance business. The agency, C.A. Lawton and Son Insurance, remains one of Kentucky's oldest independent insurance agencies today. The business was founded by Lawton's grandfather, Mr. Clyde Allison Lawton, in 1899. Lawton provided insurance leadership to Muhlenberg and much of Kentucky for over a 70 year period. He enjoyed visiting with his friends at the Lawton office up until the time of his death. He was President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky in 1956 and received the Association's Insurer of the Year Award in 1959.

Lawton led his family’s involvement in the banking business through his ownership and activities with First National Bank of Central City/Muhlenberg County. He became a director of First National in 1952 and has served as the bank's Chairman of the Board since 1981. His local leadership continues to be felt by his involvement in the Central City Lions Club (President and active member for 70 years), Central City County Club (founding committee), and Central City Chamber of Commerce (awarded Lifetime Business Achievement Award by Muhlenberg County Chamber of Commerce in 2009).

Lawton loved his church. He was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Central City serving as Chairman of the Board and leading numerous committees. He taught Sunday school and sang in the church choir for over 70 years. Music was an important part of his life as was quail hunting, golfing and boating on Green River and Lake Malone. He was an avid Republican and enjoyed participating with others in Muhlenberg County and 1st District politics.

In 1984, he was appointed by Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., to serve on the Board of Regents for Murray State University. He served for six years until 1990. He was enthusiastic about the possibility of community college in Muhlenberg County and worked tirelessly to see that achieved in 2003. Most Muhlenberg citizens who knew Bob Lawton will remember his as a loyal, optimistic supporter of his community, church and family. His life and service to others is another example of seniors referred to as "The Greatest Generation."

Bob was predeceased only two months ago by his wife of 70 years, Helen Hale Lawton.

Bob is survived by his loving daughter, Leslie Lawton Greenwood (Bill) of Central City; his four grandchildren, Jane Allison Crewse (Sam) of Brentwood, Tenn., Ann Hale Watson (Drew) of Owensboro, Ky., Helen Virginia Futvoye (Matt) of Jackson, Miss. and William Lawton Greenwood (Emily) of Columbia, S.C.; and his eleven great-grandchildren, Sarah Haden Crewse, Samuel Bryant Crewse, John Robert Crewse, Ann Lawton Watson, Eleanor Hale Watson, Bennett Alan Futvoye, Mathew Ford Futvoye, Virginia Belle Futvoye, Abigail Louise Greenwood, Hannah Marie Greenwood, and Mary Haden Greenwood.

The family expresses sincere appreciation to Martha Coleman.


Funeral services will be Friday, July 18, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Central City, with Dr. Kevin Brown officiating. Burial in Fairmount Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Tucker Funeral Home in Central City. Mr. Lawton will lie in state at the church on Friday after 9:30 a.m.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Sunday School program of Central City First United Methodist Church, 200 E. Broad Street, Central City, Ky. 42330 or to the Muhlenberg Campus of Madisonville Community College, 2000 College Drive, Madisonville, Ky. 42431.

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