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Yale 62

John Chamberlain Lawson

1937 – February 8, 2024

John Lawson was born and raised in Morristown, NJ to Clement Corbin Lawson Y’25S and Winnifred Chamberlain Lawson in 1937. He graduated from Mr. Hermon School in 1955 the class of 1962 in 1958; how he spent the time between is not available. John majored in Electrical Engineering, studies he continued at George Washington University where he earned an MS in Engineering and at Brooklyn Polytechnic University where he completed courses for a PhD in Operations Research. All supported his employment of 29 plus years in telecommunications at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel and Murray Hill, NJ. after two years of Army service.; he retired in 1994 as the company and industry was downsizing.

While documentation of John’s life with us at Yale does not seem to be available, his obituary in the New Jersey Hearld does speak of rich life and favorite activities. He loved sailing and served as Chief Officer and Skipper of the River Rats Sailing Club of Fair Haven, NJ. John apparently had a deep knowledge of classical music, and loved to sing, which he developed in part at Mt Hermon; there is no mention of him belonging to a singing group while at Yale.

Upon retirement, as his Mt Herman Class’s 50th Anniversary yearbook says: “John built on his earlier volunteer work as a a choral singer in New York and got into the music business.” He served as Executive Director of the New York Choral Society for many years, and as Music Director of the Sussex County Oratorio. He was particularly proud of orchestrating the Choral Society’s tour of China in 2002 where they introduced Mahler’s 8th Symphony and of Christmas concerts with Peter, Paul and Mary at Carnegie Hall. In 2005 John proudly shared in his Mt. Herman class’s 50th Anniversary yearbook that he “had occasion to sing the Randall Thompson ‘Allelulia’ and could still sing it from memory 50 years later.”

At 86 and on February 8, 2024, he passed away. He was survived by his daughters, Eve Lawson and Amanda Santos, and a grandson Benjamin Santos. He was preceded in death by his wife Joanne Waddington Lawson, whom he married in 1987, and his two sisters: Mary Sitomer and Anne Hershey. Betty Lawrence, his first wife, survived him. John’s home was in Lake Owassa, NJ.


— John D. Hatch III