Warren was born June 21, 1920, to Aetha & Otto F Lawson, in Mangum, Oklahoma. With one brother and three sisters, he was the fourth of five children born to the Lawson family. Warren spent the first 21 years of life on an 80 acre farm for which his father had traded a New Mexico homestead in 1913. His life on the farm was an education in itself; planting, cultivating and harvesting crops, growing vegetables and fruit, and caring for farm animals. In his youth, Warren participated in activities such as baseball, basketball, the 4H club, literary programs, and 3 act plays. During his junior year he was selected by the faculty as the best 'all around boy' in high school and presented with a medal. At age 20, Warren joined the Air Force. After three phases of flight training he earned silver wings and a flight officers rating. On 'D Day' he dropped 18 paratroopers over Cherbourg, France. He was involved in three more spearhead attacks with his group dropping paratroopers and towing gliders behind the enemy lines, for which the group was given the 'presidential citation'. Between spearhead attacks, the 436th was assigned to fly gasoline to General Patton's tanks and fly wounded from the front lines back to hospitals in England. For Warren's involvement in these operations, he was awarded the 'Air Medal' with three oak leaf clusters. While stationed in France, Warren met Liz, his future bride, at an officer's club in Paris. It was a happy and optimistic time for the young couple. They corresponded and eventually became engaged. They married in 1947, and relocated to Menomonie, Wisconsin after the war, where Warren pursued a degree in Industrial Arts at the Stout Institute. After earning a degree and teaching credentials, Warren taught high school classes in Oklahoma, next in San Jose, and finally in San Leandro, where he and Liz raised their two daughters. Warren retired after 19 years of teaching in San Leandro. He and Liz moved to Santa Cruz in 1988 and built a home at the West Side, with a lovely view of the ocean. During retirement Warren kept busy with maintaining his home, vegetable garden, and many hours in his woodworking shop. For 10 years he was a member of the Santa Cruz Toy Makers Club and also volunteered at the Santa Cruz Boys & Girls Club, maintaining its woodshop. Warren was a man who lived by and set high standards of honesty, integrity and a hard work ethic to all who knew him and loved him. Warren was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth in March of 2010. He is survived by his daughter and son-in law, Katrina & Steve Cope, of Santa Cruz, daughter & son-in law Valerie & Steve Smith, of Alameda, CA. and two granddaughters, Ashley Cope and Simone Smith. He is also survived by a brother, Maurice Lawson, of Searcy, Arkansas, and many nieces and nephews in the Midwest. The family will hold private services. Charitable donations, in lieu of flowers, may me made to veterans organization of your choice.
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