Helen Irene (Doyle) Lawson, 85, of Iola, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Houston in her home at Atria Westchase Assisted Living where she had lived the last seven years. A visitation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, at Concord Cemetery Chapel in Iola. Funeral services will begin following the visitation at 11 a.m., with burial to follow at Concord Cemetery. Nathan Hoke will be officiating.
Helen was born on Nov. 17, 1931, in Iola, to William Dunn Doyle and Gladys Irene (Wells) Doyle. Helen was four when the Doyle family moved to the Kashmere Gardens area of Houston. At an early age, her passion for music and the arts was so strong that she taught herself to play both the piano and organ. She is a graduate of Jefferson Davis High School in Houston. She married her high school sweetheart, Malcolm Ray Lawson, and then held secretarial positions for a time in downtown Houston, as well as retail positions at the famous and native Texas brand Sakowitz, until she became a full-time mother and homemaker.
The next several years she raised her children, gave piano lessons and worked as a church organist. Wherever they lived, Helen always found her way to playing music. Helen was the church organist at Bethany Baptist Church in Houston, Garden Oaks Baptist Church in Houston and First Baptist Church in Deer Park.
When Malcolm retired, they returned to Iola, built their dream home and enjoyed many happy years watching sunsets and relishing in all the natural beauty that surrounded them. Her last church position was at Iola Missionary Baptist Church.
Helen’s favorite and most joyous times were when she was surrounded by her family and friends. She enjoyed preparing her family’s favorite meals, having parties, decorating for Christmas, watching classic movies, spending time with dear friends and going on family vacations.
She had a passion for gardening and growing roses. Every home she lived in had a rose garden. Helen was also an artist. She painted landscapes of places she loved, flowers she loved. She painted for those she loved. Helen was also a wonderful seamstress and dressmaker spending hours creating outfits, costumes, and home goods. She loved and believed in angels.
She enjoyed traveling too. Helen and Malcolm frequently traveled with Shelton and Juanita Lawson, Malcolm’s brother and sister-in-law. Her favorite trip overseas was to the Holy Land in Israel. There she saw firsthand the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the basis for her strong faith and belief in God. She also rode a camel! The four of them had many happy years together, including being neighbors for several years.
Helen proudly LOVED being “a Texan.” She loved everything about Texas — the food, the terrain, beautiful wildflowers, and a true favorite — the watermelon.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved husband Malcolm Ray Lawson, with whom she was married for more than 60 years.
Helen is survived by her loving family, including her daughter, Kim Lawson Gonzalez and husband Miguel of Houston; her son, Dale Ray Lawson and wife Kathy of South Dakota, her sister, Vivian Covington and husband Paul, and her sister Ruby Carr; her brother, Bill Doyle and wife Ella Mae; her grandsons, Adam Ray Lawson, Nicholas Lawson, Todd Lawson and Zachry Lawson; two great-granddaughters; one great-grandson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Heartfelt thanks to Atria Westchase Senior Living for providing so much caring, comfort, love and joy. Helen truly loved living there, creating new friends that have become family. Sincere thanks to New Century Hospice for their support and guidance.
In lieu of flowers, please make in-memoriam donations to Iola Volunteer Fire Department, 23574 Brazos Ave, Iola, TX 77861. (936) 394-2222.
“May the winds of love blow softly
And whisper so you will hear…
We will always love and miss you
And wish that you were here.”