Lawson A. Howland, 86, died Jan. 25, 2003, at the Weiser Rehabilitation and Care Center.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge, Idaho. Burial will be at Salubria Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Summers Funeral Homes, Boise Chapel.
Lawson was born and raised in Cambridge, Idaho. He attended grade school and high school in Cambridge and graduated in 1934.
He lived with his parents on the family farm along Pine Creek about four miles northwest of the city. He was very active in sports throughout his childhood, competing in basketball, football, and boxing. The majority of his time during his school years was spent helping with the family farm operation.
His father raised purebred Suffolk sheep and Lawson was very involved in all aspects of the business. Throughout his high school years he spent a good deal of time herding the bands of sheep in the mountains and foothills north of town.
He was an accomplished sheep shearer and trimmer. Working on the shearing crews took him to the Salmon River and Snake River country, and to Montana as well as the local area in Washington County.
A few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Lawson enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After his initial training, he was sent to Scott Field, Ill., where he graduated from the Field Radio Communications School in June of 1942.
He was then transferred to Smyrna, Tenn., where he graduated from the Air Traffic Control Academy. He was transferred to Selman Field at Monroe, La., on Sept. 14, 1942, where he was the air traffic control chief. In December of 1944, Lawson was transferred to the island of Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, where he was the chief air traffic controller. He remained there until the end of the war.
Lawson was married to Marian Alice Paul in 1944. After the war ended in 1945, Lawson and Marian moved to Rupert, Idaho for about a year. He farmed part of the land owned by Marian’s father.
As his heart was not in row-crop farming, he moved back to Cambridge and again entered the sheep business. He raised Suffolk and Hampshire breeding stock until his retirement in 1975. He sold purebred rams at sales located in Utah, Idaho, and California.
In 1948, Lawson spent several weeks at Decatur, Ind., where he graduated from the Reppart School of Auctioneering. He was actively involved in auctioneering on a part-time basis over the next 30-plus years.
He auctioned the weekly cattle sale in Cambridge in the early ’50s. For a number of years he auctioned the National Ram Sale at Ogden, Utah, the Idaho Ram Sale at Filer, Idaho, and the annual ram sales at Pocatello, Idaho, and Sacramento, California.
He cried numerous farm sales and countless charity auctions in the Cambridge area over this time period, including serving as the announcer for the Washington County Rodeo.
Lawson and Marian built a home at Cambridge in 1951, and the family lived there until about 1967. At that time they sold the home and bought an 80-acre farm approximately four miles east of town.
In 1974, Lawson was elected Washington County commissioner. He held that position for six years. From 1981 through 1986 he worked as the watermaster for Weiser River Water District No. 67.
From 1950 through 1967 Lawson served on the Cambridge School Board, serving as chairman for 12 years. During that same time period he was a volunteer member of the Cambridge Fire Department. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Suffolk Sheep Society from 1950 through 1960, serving as president from 1958 through 1960.
From 1954 through 1957, he was a member of the board of directors of the Farm Home Administration, Weiser District. He was a member of the Washington County Fair Board from 1975 through 1979. From 1976 through 1981 he was a member of the board of directors of the Idaho Weed Control Association, serving as president in 1980 and 1981. During the 1990s he served on the Salubria Cemetery Board.
Lawson was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge for more than 60 years, a member of the Cuddy Mountain Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a longtime member of the Upper Country Grange.
He was a man of few hobbies. He spent the majority of his time working.
He rarely took vacations, and seldom worked less than six days a week.
After he retired he went fishing a few times, but preferred to spend his time reading, watching TV, and drinking coffee with the boys. For the most part, Lawson’s life centered around three interests: work, grandchildren, and politics.
Lawson was a devoted grandfather. The kids spent a lot of time on the ranch with Lawson and Marian. He taught each grandchild to drive.
The grandkids spent many an hour traveling with him on his water route, fishing, and changing sprinkler pipe. In his later years he was very taken by his great-grandchildren.
Lawson was known as a volunteer during his life at Cambridge. He thoroughly enjoyed helping others. These activities ranged from charity auctioneering, the volunteer fire department, donating lambs to 4-H and FFA members for fair projects, trimming the lambs for show, helping with search and rescue and working on a variety of community projects. He was recognized on numerous occasions by the community for the services that he provided.
Survivors include two sons, Steve Howland and his wife, Linda, of Elgin and Stan Howland and his wife, Linda, of Meridian, Idaho; a brother, Charles Howland of Nampa, Idaho; and a sister, Louise Welsh of Payette, Idaho; his grandchildren, Tina Howland of Los Angeles, Calif., Cheri Howland-Clark and Jason of Kuna, Idaho, Trevor Howland of Anchorage, Alaska, Paul and Elainna Howland of Ukiah, Tanya and Mitch Williams of La Grande; and several great- grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian; a brother, Buck; and sisters, Geneva and Bernice.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cambridge Ambulance and Fire Department Fund, Box 187, Cambridge, ID 83610.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January 31, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor