July 16, 1935 – September 30, 2016
Donald Anthony Lawliss, of South Burlington Vt., passed away on September 30, 2016 following a brief illness.
Don was born on July 16, 1935 in Barre, Vt., the first-born child of Lionel “Bill” and Nella (Micheli) Lawliss. He graduated from Spaulding High School in 1953, where he excelled academically and was a highly-decorated musician. He went on to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and eventually transferred to the University of Vermont, from where he graduated in 1958 – the beginning of a strong and steady legacy of proud Catamount graduates!
After graduation, Don began a long and distinguished 37-year career with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. His first assignment was in Newport, Vt., where he met the love of his life, Sandra. The couple married there on November 12, 1960, and shortly thereafter moved to South Burlington, where they happily raised their three children; Mark, Lisa and Todd.
Don was committed to serving his country and his community. In addition to his career in public service, he also had a long and impressive tenure as an officer with the U.S. Army Reserves, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was an active member of the South Burlington Jaycees, and a volunteer coach with the South Burlington Little League. Few knew how generous he was in helping many friends and family with tax advice and preparation over the years.
Well-read and intelligent, he was a life-long learner with a particular love for history. Don was first chair at trumpet in the UVM Orchestra and carried that passion for music throughout his life. He loved the Red Sox (Ted Williams!) and classic movies. In retirement, he greatly enjoyed excursions with Sandra, whether it was escaping the Vermont winters in Myrtle Beach or a fun trip to the casino.
Above all else, Don was a dedicated family man and a loving son, husband, father and proud grandfather. His family will always love and remember him for his unwavering support and commitment to them. For his children and grandchildren, he was a fixture at almost every game, performance, and moment of achievement, and he never missed a family milestone. He was a man of integrity, and we will miss his sweet humility, wisdom, and razor-sharp wit.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Sandra (Moffett) Lawliss of South Burlington; his sons Mark (Jacqueline) and Todd (Dawn) of South Burlington, and daughter Lisa Kenny (Christopher) of Essex Junction; and his grandchildren Matthew, Kevin, Michael and Amy Lawliss and Jillian and Molly Kenny. He is also survived by his sister Claire Wilcox (Alan) of Essex Junction and brother William (Margaret) of South Burlington, sisters-in-law Faye Hopcroft, Deborah LeBlanc and Cynthia Koehler of Williston, Vt., and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to take this opportunity to thank the gifted surgical team, led by Doctors Fabricant and Trevisani, at UVMMC, along with all the wonderful care providers there who took such good care of Don – especially Katarina, Leah, Susan, Pam, Mark and Betty.
In keeping with Don’s wishes, there will be no funeral services. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in his memory to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org).