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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
George Vincent Lawler Sr., Captain, USAF
BIRTH 11 Jun 1931
DEATH 9 Nov 2020 (aged 89)
Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida, USA
Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
MEMORIAL ID 218717836 · View Source
George Vincent Lawler
June 11, 1931 – November 9, 2020
George Vincent Lawler of Vero Beach, FL and Charlestown, RI, formerly of Farmington, CT died at home in Vero Beach on Monday November 9, 2020. He was 89 years old. He was predeceased by his wives, Frances Britton Lawler, Viola Hogan Lawler, and a granddaughter, Kelly Kalt.
He is survived by his dear companion of 6 years, Nita Roscoe and his six children and their spouses; Kathleen and Henry Kalt, Michael and Margaret Lawler, Peggy and Edward Hackett, Kelly and Tom Bartlett, Maureen and Jim Parran and George and Melissa Lawler, Jr. Also mourning his loss are 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
George overcame an abusive childhood in Manchester, CT to become a self-made man. After high school, a friend’s family took him in and he worked in a shoe store. One of his high school teachers entered the store and was shocked to see one of her top students. She told him he should be in college, which hadn’t occurred to him. Subsequently, he moved in with a beloved aunt and her husband who had no children of their own. George worked nights at Pratt and Whitney and took day classes at UConn. In order to finance his college studies, he joined R.O.T.C. While attending Army R.O.T.C. exercises, he noticed that the Air Force cadets were not required to crawl in the dirt, so he started attending the Air Force classes. When the officer in charge noticed he had an extra student, he asked to speak to George. Impressed with the explanation and initiative, the officer completed the paperwork required and so, George’s United States Air Force career began. He earned his B.A degree in 1956 and was commissioned into the USAF as a 2nd LT.
He married Frances Britton, his high school sweetheart, in 1954. His career required the family to move 12 times in 11 years. His specialty was Helicopter Pilot. During the early days of the Viet Nam War, he was first stationed in Thailand. He was expected to return home after that tour of duty, but instead was ordered directly to Viet Nam where he flew helicopter rescue missions. He was away from home for 18 months, which was a great hardship for his wife who was left with the responsibility for six children. When George was given orders to return to Viet Nam, he realized that for the sake of his family, it was time to resign his commission. In 1966, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain.
Subsequently, the family moved to Farmington, CT. George worked days as a Contract Administrator for Hamilton Standard. At night, for 5 years, he studied for his JD degree from the UConn School of Law.
Eventually he opened a private practice, Lawler and Associates in Cromwell, CT. His son, George Lawler, Jr. still owns the practice.
George served on the Farmington Zoning Board of Appeals for many years. He was a past president of the Farmington Republican Town Committee, a member of The Exchange Club, and chairman of the Heart Association for many years.
George and his wife, Frances intended to retire to Florida, but Frances became incapacitated with COPD. He took loving care of her for years and only moved to Vero Beach after her death. They were married for fifty-two years.
In Vero Beach, he married Viola Hogan. They continued to visit the beach house in RI until she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a few years after their marriage. Once again, he took devoted care of his wife until her death. They were married for seven years.
He then met Nita Roscoe who became his life partner. She introduced him to the world of cruise ships. For the first time, he was free to travel. They spent six happy years cruising and traveling to destinations all over the world.
He loved to play poker, a game he picked up in the military. He played for many years at the V.F.W. in Plainville, CT. Here in Vero, he played for hours with his “poker buddies” at the Woodfield Clubhouse. Ever optimistic, he recently asked one of his daughters to make sure he had money in his wallet for his next game – even though he was bed-ridden.
George enjoyed excellent health for 88 years. It was a shock to the entire family when he was diagnosed with stage 4 renal disease this past January. Nita’s devoted care allowed him to remain at home until his death. She administered the dialysis every night so he would not have to spend hours at the dialysis center. The family is extremely grateful to Nita for her care. The family is also grateful to the wonderful staff at DaVita Dialysis.
In the Irish tradition, George entertained family and friends with stories of his past and present. He never forgot a detail. He never complained about the circumstances of his life, but somehow turned fortune and misfortune into great tales. We will miss his wit and humor. Family gatherings will never be the same.
George was a communicant and member of the choir at St. John of the Cross. His wish was to be cremated and buried next to his wife Frances. Internment arrangements have not been made because of COVID restrictions, but at a later date, he will be buried in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington, CT.
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