Mr. Sherman Lawson was the first born son of the late John Calvin Lawson and Elsie Mae Waldroop Lawson. Born November 5, 1960 in Jellico, TN, he departed this life on Wednesday afternoon, October 4, 2023 at Baptist Health Corbin after an extended illness.
Although voted the laziest boy of his Lone Jack High School Senior class, those who knew him knew Sherman as a work-a-holic. Sherman took on a lot of responsibility in the family at a young age. He worked at the Red Ace service station in Pineville while he was still in high school to help his family make ends meet. After graduation and a short stint in the United States Army, he completed EMT training and worked with the Knox County Ambulance Service. He then dispatched for the Barbourville Police Department until he graduated from EKU’s police academy and began a 28 year career as a Barbourville police officer He attained the rank of Sergeant before retiring from the department and taking on the role of manager of senior housing apartments. He served three terms on the Barbourville City Council and ran his own garage on the side for many years. Many will remember Sherman as the School Resource Officer at Knox Central High School or driving their school bus as a substitute bus driver. All these jobs allowed Sherman to do what he loved to do best- talk to people.
Talking was both a gift and a curse for Sherman. He could and would talk with anyone at any time about anything, often to the dismay of those shopping, at a restaurant or otherwise out in public with him because you did a lot of waiting while he did a lot of talking. But Sherman’s words of encouragement or advice were a comfort and guide to many. During his tenure as a police officer, Sherman was known to have kept many a tense situation from escalating into a bad one simply by staying calm and talking. His common sense served him well when it came to knowing when someone would be better off with a little advice and a break or whether they needed to go to jail. Countless people over the years have expressed their gratitude for his listening when they needed an ear and for his advice or how he handled a situation.
Sherman never lost his smile or sense of optimism right up to the end. If you asked him how he was doing he often responded “hanging in, hanging out, and hanging on”. His signature response to someone telling him to have a good day was “you have one better”. In addition to talking, Sherman loved music and played guitar in a local band for a while. He loved old cars and working on them, riding his Harley motorcycle and time with his family, but most things had to be scheduled around when his beloved wrestling programs would be airing on television. Fox News or old westerns were runners up to his passion for wrestling. Of course, he loved good food and trying to tell his brother Cal what to do.
Survivors include his loving wife, Debra Hill of Barbourville; devoted children, Sherman Joshua Lawson and wife, Brenna, and Christopher Lawson and wife, Kaysey, all of Barbourville; stepsons, Zeveren and Troy Hill both of Barbourville; brothers, John David Lawson and wife, Donna, of Lynchburg, OH and Cal Lawson of Barbourville; two treasured grandchildren, Ava Lawson and Releigha Hill; among other loved ones and dear friends.
His funeral service will be conducted in the chapel of the Knox Funeral Home Sunday, October 15 at 2 P.M. with Rev. Rick Partin officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Barbourville Cemetery.
Serving as casket bearers will be officers of the Barbourville Police Department.
Friends may visit at the funeral home Saturday between 6 and 9 P.M. and Sunday prior to the funeral hour.
In honor of Sherman, the family asks that you perform an act of kindness or offer an encouraging word to someone you see struggling. You never know the impact one small act of kindness can have on a person.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Knox Funeral Home.
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