February 28, 1954 ~ February 26, 207

Visitation, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 4:00pm -8:00pm,  Thursday, 11:00am – 12:00 noon.

John Wesley Free Methodist Church, 5900 W. 46th street, Indianapolis, IN  46254

Funeral Service, Thursday, March 2, 12:00 noon, John Wesley Church

With life comes death. Many may find that death may mean there is no more life but on the contrary, Michael Frederick Lawson believed that the very essence of death in the flesh meant only the beginning of eternal life.

Michael took his first breath of life on February 28, 1954 and transcended into the everlasting on February 26, 2017, just two days before his 63rd birthday.

Born the second-eldest son to Joseph and Helen Lawson, Mike or “Papi”, as he was more affectionately called by his daughters, was a gentle soul and bore the fruits of the spirit. As a young boy, he enjoyed traveling to his grandfather’s farm or running wild with his imagination along a creek or railroad track. He had a deep yearning to know God and enjoyed life’s simpler pleasures.  Michael, better known as “Elf” to his countless friends, was raised in Eagledale, on Indy’s near west side where he gained a reputation known as “Cadillac” on the ball field.  Going on to attend elementary school at St. Michael the Arch Angel and then St. Gabriel’s Grade school. During which time, he thrived in athletics, participating in recreational sports such as Track and Field, CYO Football, Northwest Little League Football and Eagledale Little League. He attended Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School but went on to graduate from Northwest High School in the spring of 1972.

Michael enjoyed traveling very much. His decisions to go to California after graduation lead him to discovering a passion for faith and a knack for a craftsman’s handiwork, later becoming a master painter by trade. Mike participated in numerous activities, he received a certificate for his completed training in ministry work, which he genuinely enjoyed and helped feed his passion for studying the Word and writing praise songs. Caring for the humbler things of life, such as a quiet fishing trip or just sitting and reflecting in nature over early morning coffee, Mike always had a positive outlook on life. A hobbyist with many talents he enjoyed painting, playing the guitar, hockey, baseball, golf and table tennis but found much excitement with his guitar and paint brush.

Michael made painting seem effortless and teaching was also a hidden talent of his. He shared his expertise and knowledge of painting with his daughter Amber who also found fulfillment in working with him. To his second eldest daughter, Crystal, he passed along the wisdom and thirst for the Lord. And for his youngest daughter, Tiffany, a creative ability to bring an idea to life.

He enjoyed serving in many different areas of recreation, mostly participating in coaching and volunteering in his children’s endeavors.  All three of his daughters learned the family trade of painting, but Amber appreciated it the most. As she developed a deep passion, much like Mike’s, to pursue far more than a career or trade, but a chance to experience the sheer happiness of the painting process and the satisfaction that comes with making others happy with the work that has been done.


Michael believed that any job worth doing, was a job well done. That the best way to approach every situation was with dedication. “Plan your work and work your plan” he would say. “Get it done right the first time, so you don’t have to come back and fix it.” This was a modest approach in a career field where some would use a second chance to make more money or drag out the work load but Mike was trusted and reliable. He had no problem making a lasting relationship in business. Many of his clients became lifelong friends and offered enough business opportunity for Mike to provide means to a private school education to positively impact the lives of his children.    

His style and skill in fostering love for his daughters was directly related to the way the Heavenly Father first loved the Son. He instilled in his children to love God with all one’s heart, mind and entire being. Also, teaching them to fulfill their life’s purpose, that one must know God and fine what makes you passionate. His children have inherited a treasure far more valuable than silver or mere gold, nor the one that will eventually rust or decay and that is the invaluable love of God.  

On October 10, 2016 Michael walked into the Emergency Room at Westview Hospital complaining of tiredness and chest discomfort. During which time tumors were discovered and on October 21, 2016 Michael was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer, which he then began a hasty treatment course to get rid of the tumors. Michael soon moved into the home of his daughter, Crystal’s to be cared for with diligence and loving patience.  During this time, he never stopped praying and continued to walk by faith. Michael never let his diagnosis define his character. Nor did he ever complain about this situation but continued believing, to the very end, that God is in control. He received exceptional care and treatment from the doctors at Community Health Network and we are all eternally grateful for the dedication of all the doctors, nurses, and other staff that cared for him during this time.

Michael was proceeded in passing by his loving mother, Helen F. Lawson, father Joseph T. Lawson Sr., Aunt Rosemary Dowd and nephew, Scotty Johnson. His life touched so many and he will live on in the hearts of all who knew him. He will be especially cherished by his daughters ; Amber (Brett) Lawson; Crystal (Zach) Mann; Tiffany (A.J.) Allen; ; sister; Mary (Randy) Johnson; brother; Joseph T. Lawson Jr.; nephews include Steve and Brian (Danielle) Johnson; Danny, and Joseph T. Lawson III, one great-niece, Kinsley and soon-to-be-great-nephew. Nieces of Mike Lawson are Christy (John) Mouton and Amanda (Holly) Lawson. Mike had five grandchildren, Roland, Abby, Aliyah, Jaxon and Gabriel, all whom he loved and adored. There were many other relatives that he connected with and received intangible love from a plethora of family including aunts, uncles, cousins, In-laws and a host of friends, all of whom considered him family.


Mike was the best Dad, uncle, brother, grandpa, and friend. He completed his life’s grand journey and is reaping a great harvest, for he surely loved the Lord, Our God.

Leaving his mark on numerous houses, cabinets, baseball (and softball) fields, hockey rinks, and especially in the hearts of his family and friends, Michael will be sorely missed.




Lawson, Mike pic