John W. Lawless ’50 died on April 19, 2009, at his home in Snohomish, Washington, after a three-year battle with cancer.
He was born on August 25, 1928, in Lewiston, the son of Kenneth Lawless ’24. He was valedictorian at Brunswick High School and won a State of Maine scholarship to Bowdoin, where he attended for two years and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He joined the Navy in 1948 and served as an aviation electronics technician aboard the aircraft carrier Midway. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1968 and later graduated from the radio technical course at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He met his future wife in a linguistic program at the University of North Dakota, and he joined the Wycliffe Bible Translators. After they were married, they sailed on a freighter to the northern end of Mindanao, Philippines, where he began a shortwave radio operation to serve as translators in remote areas. After seven years, they returned to the United States, where he earned a teaching degree and taught at Cottage Lake School in Woodinville, Wash., for 19 years. He is survived by Agnes Cunningham Lawless, his wife of 51 years; a son, Kenneth; three grandsons; and a sister, Mary Lark.