Charlie Lawson was born on Monday, April 17, 1939 in Summerton, South Carolina. He was the oldest son of the late Lula Martha Lawson Palmer and Henry Solomon.
At an early age, Charlie joined the Historic Liberty Hill AME Church in Summerton, SC. Although he was away, He continued to support his church in various ways.
He was educated in the public schools of Clarendon County. In high school, he received his school bus drivers’ license. He took pride in driving students to and from school daily, earning money to help support his family. Charlie was known for safe driving skills and earned a monetary bonus at the end of each school year as a form of appreciation for not having any accidents. In 1958, Charlie graduated from the Historic Scott’s Branch High School.
Being taught how to save money by his mother Lula and Grandmother Eliza Lawson, he was able to travel to New York City the very next day after completing high school to reunite with his mother and start the next chapter in his well lived life. He arrived in New York City and immediately secured employment. He was a jack of all trades and was very handy when it came to fixing equipment and especially fixing cars. He enrolled in the Motor Mechanic School, where he fine-tuned his craft and graduated with his Certification as a Mechanic. During this time, he met and married Deloris and from this union one son, Melvin was born. Still focusing on family, he gained an opportunity to work for General Motors. He was employed there for some time however his drive to do more landed a more lucrative employment opportunity working for a mattress company.
Charlie not only knew about mattresses; he knew about furniture and could take apart and put together a couch at will. He saw the bigger picture and purchased a truck. It was the beginning of his journey as an entrepreneur and Lawson’s Trucking.
His drive encouraged others in his family and motivated them to work as well. His younger brother William along with his cousin Clyde would assist with a smaller truck and together they would deliver mattresses, furniture, and moved clients to new residents. Still motivated to grow, Charlie later owned and operated West Harlem Furniture on West 135th St and a smaller furniture store on 120th St. He catered to the Harlem neighborhoods that embraced him when he came from South Carolina.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew Charlie. He had a smile and a famous greeting when he saw you that will never be said the same again: “What’s up Bo?” He was famous for his plaid shirts, knit hats, suspenders, and work boots - that was his choice of attire and it’s what made Charlie happy.
Charlie was always a hard worker and a giving person, he always put family first and with a smile. Charlie had a deep passion and love for his family, especially his children. He loved cars, going to the race-tracks, wrestling, and especially old western movies. One of his favorite foods was White Castle hamburgers and home-made sausages and liver pudding from South Carolina.
After retirement, Charlie slowed down and loved parking his car from one side of the street to the next, playing the lotto, fixing the food of his choice, and watching westerns on television. Even when he was sick, you wouldn’t know it because he smiled even in pain. His siblings Mary Lee, William Franklin and brother-in-law Abraham took him on his doctor’s visits while in New York ensuring he followed doctor’s orders. He wanted to come home to rest as he loved South Carolina and was lovingly cared for by his son Melvin and daughter-in-law Angela until his death.
On Thursday, April 2, 2020, Charlie Lawson entered into enteral rest at Agape Hospice Care in Summerville, South Carolina. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by one son, Arthur Scott, six brothers and one sister.
He leaves to cherish his memories: seven children, Melvin (Angela Hayes) Lawson, Michael Kennedy, Alonzo Kennedy, Edisto Kennedy, Sam Kennedy, Edwin Scott and Tyrone Scott; eleven grandchildren, Shaneka Lawson, Samantha Lawson, Tiffany Gibson, Somora Burgess Lawson, Keyadh Kennedy, Lala Kennedy, Jada Kennedy, Nicholas Kennedy, Eric Kennedy, Janaya Smythe and Monaisha Smythe; two special siblings and caregivers, Mary Lee (Abraham) Lawson Livingston and William Franklin (Ethel) Lawson; ten sisters, Elease Solomon, Henrietta Solomon, Gloria Solomon, Dorothy Parson, Evonne Parson, Cindy Peggy House, Regina Mack, Susie Becastro and Apostle Elizabeth Gibson; fifteen brothers, Anthony Palmer, Daniel Solomon, Paul Solomon, David Parson, Johnny Parson, John Robinson, Kenny Charity Dough, Charlie Charity Green, Rev. Charlie (Brenda) Thomas, Alex Robinson, Levi Robinson, Charlie Hart, Kelvin (Staphnie) Robinson, Sylvester Robinson and Lorenzo Ragin; two aunts, Ida Solomon and Alice Solomon; five close cousins, Kathleen Lawson Gibson, Dorothy Mae Martin, Daisy Johnson, Derrell Ragin and Andre Lawson; a special friend, Hilda Hamer; and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
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