November 7, 1926 ~ August 30, 2021
William Eugene “Gene” Lawler, 94, passed away at home on Monday, August 30, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He was born at the family farm on November 7, 1926, in Ridgway, Illinois, the son of Augustus and Teresa Drone Lawler. Shortly after he left school at 14, his father passed away and he was left to provide for his mother and seven sisters.
He was drafted by the U.S. Army in February of 1945, during WWII. He escorted troop trains across the country until receiving orders to the SCU 3990 POW Detachment in Ogden, where he became an MP. He guarded the camp and prisoners, provided escort for POW work details to local fields and orchards, and then served as acting Provost Marshall. He also served in the Wyoming State National Guard.
It was there at the POW camp that Gene met the love of his life, Allie Lee Taylor. They were married three months later on January 18, 1946, in Salt Lake City. After his discharge from the Army, they lived in Ridgway, Illinois; Evanston, Wyoming; and finally settled in Ogden. They celebrated 71 years together before Allie passed away on September 13, 2017.
Gene worked as a mechanic in Evanston, then returned to Ogden to work at the Utah General Depot. He earned his mechanic’s certification from Weber State College and worked at Hill Air Force Base. On the side, he started his own business, Lawler’s Mobile Tune Up. Once retired from HAFB, he spent most of his time tending grandchildren, something he treasured. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish since 1946. He was a Knight of Columbus.
William is survived by his children, Francis (Margaret) Lawler of Ogden, Teresa (Dennis) Hawkins of Ogden, Joyce Hawkins of Ogden, Mary (Tom) Ryan of Sandy, Deana (Edward) Balistrire-Newren of Syracuse, Geraldine Lawler-Suski of Ogden, and Thongsy Darasouk of Roy; 18 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Sr. Gabriel “Edna” Lawler, Sr. Rachel Lawler, Theresa (Cletus) Drone, Margaret Fredrickson, and special cousin Kathleen Holaday, who was raised as his sibling. He was preceded in death by his wife, Allie Lee; sisters, Sr. Alma “Eva” Lawler, Sr. Lorita “Etta” Lawler, and Louise Cook; and daughter-in-law, Chanhday Darasouk.
A funeral Mass was celebrated September 10 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Ogden. Interment, Evanston City Cemetery, Evanston, Wyoming.