Douglas C. Lawton

Douglas C. Lawton

GUILDERLAND — Douglas C. Lawton, a dedicated firefighter and a loving man of few words, died on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, with his loving family by his side, after a valiant three-year battle with colon cancer. He was 57.

Mr. Lawton was born on April 26, 1957, to Charlotte M. Lawton and the late Donald “K” Lawton.

His first career was in banking. In the span of 25 years, he worked his way from teller to vice president of Charter One Bank, formerly Albany Savings Bank.

It was while working at the bank that he met his wife, Nancy Lawton, in 1977. She was also working as a teller. Shortly after she began working at the bank, Mr. Lawton was promoted to her supervisor, but, she said, it didn’t hinder their relationship.

The couple wed in 1978 and raised two daughters together.

Mrs. Lawton said her husband was “a phenomenal husband and father.”

“He was a man of few words, but he was able to demonstrate his love without them,” she said.

Mr. Lawton left Charter One Bank in 2000, and earned an accounting degree from Schenectady County Community College in 2002. He worked as an accounting associate for Catholic Charities Disabilities Services for 12 years.

One of his greatest loves in life, said his wife, was the Guilderland Center Fire Department. He was a 39-year member, a past president, and was most recently serving as the department treasurer and the district secretary and treasurer.

“The fire department was a family,” said Mrs. Lawton. “It was a brotherhood.”

Mr. Lawton was also a 40-year member of the Helderberg Reformed Church.

Mr. Lawton enjoyed many sports, particularly golfing — he accomplished a hole in one — and bowling — he bowled a perfect 300 game.

He was an avid fan of the New York Yankees, New York Giants, and NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.) He loved to travel, especially to Cape Cod and Las Vegas.

“When he was in hospice, someone asked what he was most proud of,” said his wife. “He said he was most proud of his families — his biological family, fire department family, and work family.”

Mrs. Lawton described her husband as a man with a “quick wit, a great sense of humor, and an easy smile,” even during his long battle with cancer.

“He was a fighter when it came to his disease,” she said. “He never once complained.”

He fought to stay alive until his daughter gave birth to his grandson, his namesake; Lawton Schanz was born on July 8.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Lawton is survived by his cherished daughters, Trina Schanz, and her husband, Steven, and Pamela Wolozyn, and her husband, John; his two precious grandchildren, Alexis and Lawton Schanz; his sisters, Sandy Lowder, and her husband, Gavin, and Andrea James, and her husband, Bill; his aunt, Marion Lawton; his in-laws, Marcia Halse, and Lewis and Marylyn Kindberg; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family would like to thank Rev. Allen Jager, of the Helderberg Reformed Church, for his constant care and support during Mr. Lawton’s illness; all the staff at New York Oncology Hematology, especially Dr. Nini Wu, and Lisa Wolfe, physician’s assistant; the wonderful staff on 2 McCauley at St. Peter’s Hospital; doctors Yip, Notis, Gumustop, and Labow; and physician’s assistants Patty Nevinger and Samantha Aycart.

Funeral services were held on July 28 at the Helderberg Reformed Church. Arrangements were by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Guilderland Center Fire Department, 30 School Road, Guilderland Center, NY 12085, or the Helderberg Reformed Church, Post Office Box 196, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.

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