Obituary: Roy I. Lawler, April 11, 1936, to March 22, 2018
Roy I. Lawler died peacefully with his family by his side Thursday, March 22, 2018. He was 82 years old.
Roy was born in Superior, Wisconsin, on April 11, 1936. His parents were Valborg Rondesvedt and Ronald S. Lalwer. Roy spent his childhood in Gordon, Wisconsin, fishing, hunting, boating, skiing and playing football. He spent his youth around planes, in planes and literally on top of planes, as his father was a flight instructor. He flew his first plane at 12 years old. Roy knew at a very young age that all he wanted to do was fly.
Roy attended college at Ole Miss, where he was the center on the football team. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1959. He met Phyllis Tucker in Kansas City, Missouri. They had two daughters, Val and Gaylynn. The family moved many places with the Air Force, including Hawaii and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the whole family fell in love with skiing.
In the mid-’70s, Roy was assigned to Cheyenne Mountain NORAD. He moved his family up to Vail and commuted back and forth until he retired in 1980. He was in the Air Force for 23 years. He flew three tours of duty and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the 21 Oak Leaf Cluster Air medals for his service.
After he retired from the Air Force, Roy built houses and owned a few different businesses. He was a member of the Vail Rotary Club for many years, and it was a passion of his. One of his favorite memories was building Julia’s Deck and the Partners for Access to the Woods path up on Shrine Pass. His last years he spent battling Parkinson’s and enjoying spending time with his family.
Roy is survived by his wife of 57 years, Phyllis Lawler; his daughters Valerie Lawler Hamina and Gaylynn Lawler Mooney; their husbands Robb and Michael, as well as his grandchildren Ian, Gunnar, Skye and Brendan, his sister Joann Lawler Anderson and her sons, John, Ronnie, Robert, Richard and William.
The service will be held at the Beaver Creek Chapel on Saturday, April 7, at 10 a.m. An open house celebrating Roy’s life will be held at his home following the service until 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Veterans Emergency Fund/Veterans Coalition, c/o Pat Hamon P.O. Box 660, Eagle, CO 81631, or the Parkinson’s Research Foundation.