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March 26, 1961 ~ February 9, 2024 (age 62) 62 Years Old
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Peter (“Pete”) Matthew Lawson, aged 62, on February 9th, 2024. Pete courageously battled cancer, on and off, for the past 38 years and concluded his fight surrounded by his loving family.
Born on March 26th, 1961, Pete was the son of Gerald and Mary Eileen Lawson. He grew up in Ticonderoga, a historic town nestled deeply within the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. After graduating from Ticonderoga High School (class of ’79), Pete went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame (’83) and completed his Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Duke University (’85) shortly thereafter. Pete’s entire career revolved around hospitals and healthcare organizations, where he started working in a hospital laundry at sixteen years old. Pete’s uncanny ambition and passion to help others within the healthcare field eventually lead him to become an EVP of a Fortune 500 company. He was known as a trusted leader, mentor, and friend to all he encountered throughout his professional career.
For those that knew Pete, his love and loyalty to his family was the cornerstone of his life. The love that blossomed in to his now a 9-person (soon to be 10) family started late one night at Burke’s bar in Ticonderoga. Pete was dancing on top of the bar and locked eyes with the love of his life, Diane — the rest is history. After marrying in 1986, Pete and Diane began their life in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They continued their life by making pitstops in St. Petersburg, Orlando, Oklahoma City, and ultimately laid their roots in the beautiful town of Naples, Florida in the fall of 2001. In the summer of 2012, Pete and Diane purchased a home in Goodland, Florida and quickly adopted the quaint fishing town as their home away from home.
Pete, an avid outdoorsman, loved all that southwest Florida had to offer. Between boating, fishing, hunting, and lounging by the pool Pete found his paradise and got to enjoy it with his family every single day. His three sons Devin, Dillon, and David were actively involved in all types of sports throughout the year, but Pete always managed to make time for one sporting event on fall Saturdays – Notre Dame football.
If you know the Lawsons, you know their love of Notre Dame. Pete’s father (‘47), and three sons (‘12, ‘13, and ‘13,) are all proud graduates of the University of the Notre Dame. Although Pete needed to be convinced by his father to attend the University over a football scholarship at Ithaca, he quickly fell in love with the University and lived by its creed – God, Country, Notre Dame. His commitment to Our Lady’s University continued with frequent visits to campus for football games and numerous philanthropic events that benefited University causes and virtues.
Pete was extremely proud of his Irish Heritage and wore the title of “Irish-American” as a badge of honor. He visited the home country of his great-grandfather multiple times throughout his life and all three sons were fortunate to spend entire semesters of their college experience in Dublin. The notorious side of Pete’s Irish heritage presented itself in the form of the famous “Lawson St. Paddy’s” day parties – attended by hundreds of people from all over the country. The party eventually turned in to a charitable event that raised thousands of dollars toward the American Cancer Society of Naples each year.
Pete is survived by his wife Diane, sons Devin (Kelsey and granddaughter Quinn), Dillon (Carly), David (Tatiana), sister Sheila (Don d’Entremont & Mary Eileen), brother Chris, and countless friends and family. He was predeceased by his parents Gerald and Mary Eileen and his brother Mark.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Peter and Diane Lawson Endowment for Excellence in Irish Studies fund (read the Step-process instructions below on how to give). Additionally, Pete wants anyone that reads this to perform a random act of kindness in honor of his memory.
If you want to read more about Pete’s life, please find a link to his blog and three books that were recently published:
2) Click the “Give Now” button in the top right corner of the home page
3)Within the Designation section, click within the search bar and type “Lawson”
4) Select the only option that returns, which is “Write in your own designation…”
5) Copy and paste the following message within the “Other / Write-In” area:
Peter and Diane Lawson Endowment for Excellence in Irish Studies (LAWSON EFE), Account: 636530-38050-59300-99000
If a donation is preferred to be paid via check order, please make the check out to “University of Notre Dame - Department of Development”, use the memo line of “Peter and Diane Lawson Endowment for Excellence in Irish Studies”, and mail the check to the following address:
Christopher W. Walsh
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
University of Notre Dame
1251 North Eddy Street - Suite 300
South Bend, IN 46617