ForeverMissed
Bill's Memorial Service
June 12, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Riley's Tavern 8894 FM 1102 New Braunfels, Texas 78132
Casual Dress & Bring Your Instrument if you want to play-
2:00 p.m. – Welcome & Fellowship
2:30 p.m. – Eulogy: Greg Lawson – Song by Wayne Napier
3:00 p.m. – Eulogy: Sandy Napier – Memories of Bill’s friends
3:30 p.m. – Gene Milligan & Virginia Davis – Bill’s friends open mic
5:00 p.m. – Conclude


William - Bill - Billy Ray - Clayton Lawson, 67 years old, was born on April 20, 1953 in Thompson, Georgia, and died unexpectedly on or about April 5, 2021 in his beloved San Marcos, Texas. 

While Bill was a caring and kind brother, he was also a dear and cherished friend. His kindness and generosity are an inspiration to us all. 

In 1969, Bill began his love for Central Texas when his family moved to Austin. He attended McCallum High School and quickly discovered his fondness of Lake Travis and Enchanted Rock. It was there he, his family and many other friends enjoyed swimming, hiking, camping, climbing and discovered the influences of many of Mother Nature's herbal remedies and libations. In his early twenties he travelled with brother Skip, his sister Sandy and other friends to Colorado; a trip in which his memories of the mountains, rivers, and an old man named Pete, would last a lifetime. In Wyoming, he would later climb the Grand Tetons and Devil's Tower. 

At a young age, Bill had desired to travel to Europe and in1988 flew from Austin to Zurich. He adventured through Switzerland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Germany and other countries. Along the way he met fellow travelers Christian, Stan, Kerri, Terry, Tony, and Megan whose exploits now only exist on faded post cards sent to their American friend "Villy." And also there were the two days with Michelle, who left him from a Swiss train station with his camping stove, his rain fly, and his heart.

Bill was blessed to be a part of Austin's burgeoning music industry, attending many shows at clubs like the Austin Opry House, The Continental Club, and of course the Armadillo World Headquarters. College relocated him to San Marcos where he attended Southwest Texas State University. There and in New Braunfels he created a new life. While Bill worked in healthcare at the Austin State Hospital and spent decades in painting and construction, his true passion and vocation was as a musician. Bill was a talented songwriter and guitarist, however he made his musical success recording and playing bass all over Texas with the brilliant musicians of bands such as Doc Sully, King Slim, Wayne Hancock, Hunker Down, Rumbullion, Joel Hofmann Band, and Wanda Jackson, to name a few. The people in these bands and many other friends became his new family--they made him happy and he was so very grateful to them all. More than they will ever know.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, Bruce Adams Lawson; and his mother, Evelyn Marie Pottinger Lawson. He is survived by his brother, Bruce (Skip) Adams Lawson Jr.; his sister, Sandy Marie Napier and her husband, Wayne Napier; his little brother, Gregory Howard Lawson and his wife Lynn Jarrett-Lawson; his nephews, Chad Lawson and Cooper Lawson; his great niece, Jaycee Lawson; his great nephew Cohen Lawson and his many friends to include Gene Milligan, Joel Hofmann and the Hofmann Family.

Bill's memorial service will be held on June 12, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Riley's Tavern 8894 FM 1102 New Braunfels, Texas 78132, where stories will be told and music will be played. 

Please leave a memory or tribute.








Posted by Erick Smith on June 11, 2021
Knowing that Bill is not gracing the Earth saddens my heart. I have always looked at Bill as the consummate Texas hippy. A mutant that cannot be replicated and in some magnificent way his personality could hold you captive, draw you in, and create a desire to be held within his sphere. My first introduction to Bill was in Rockdale at the Lawson’s home. He emitted that Lawson quirk, a shining personality of humor, sarcasm, and energy that shown of intelligence and independence. To me, Bill appeared as an older brother that you knew was up to fun and risky things. The guitar, nomadic persona, long hair, and laissez faire made quite an impression on my young mind. Things to this day I attempt to emulate. Amazing to think of the influence Bill has had on me.
As I write, I am listening to Rumbullion, which is in my iPhone and gets played regularly. It brings me joy to know that Bill can be conjured and in many ways these songs represent the twist that Bill took life on; or at least, this is my impression. I know to those closer to Bill, his loss is great. I just had the fortunate opportunity to get close to his orbit and that magnetism will be forever felt. See you on the other side!
Posted by Joel Woodward on June 10, 2021
Thanks for teaching us that we can grow up and keep our sense of adventure and our sense of wonder at the world. You inspired people and created joy with your compassion, creativity, and spirit of fun. You were a super cool person.
Posted by Tracie Ferguson on June 9, 2021
I was blessed to have met Bill over 40 years ago. We were in and out of each other's lives throughout those years, but our friendship only got stronger. He was the kindest, most upbeat guy I ever met. One time we took my ragged old car on a two week trip to Washington DC. While touring the Capitol, Bill grabbed my arm and we broke off from the group and freely roamed around the building that was blocked off to tourists. Bill was adventurous like that. Bill loved music more than anything else and I'll miss our late night guitar playing and his regular phone calls checking up on me. I feel sure he is in the heavenly choir now, finally finding the peace that he sought out while here on earth. I love you Billy.
Posted by Sandra Napier on June 9, 2021
Bill Bones,
I’m going to miss so many things about you. I’ll always remember the fun times we had growing up. Besides the occasional frog in the arm and nicknaming me Godzilla, you were my big brother who walked me to school. I’ll miss you here jamming with Wayne. There is a lot to miss. Most of all your gentle spirit and the encouragement you gave me all of my life. I’ll love you forever. I will see you again, Brother.❤️
Posted by Terri Hendrix on June 6, 2021
Bill ... man oh man. We played lots of shows together in the 90's. He was a really nice person. A truly wonderful human being. He's going to be missed. I'm thinking of his family and I know their hearts are broken. I wish them peace and comfort as they grieve. Best wishes, Terri Hendrix
Posted by Wynn Wallace on April 29, 2021
I will miss Bill greatly especially our many many jam sessions. He was a remarkable song writer especially of children's songs. He always had great patience and wanted any able bodied person to pick up an instrument and play. Rest in peace and godspeed Billy!
Posted by Greg Lawson on April 20, 2021
Happy birthday my brother.
Posted by Don Hofmann on April 16, 2021
From Becky Hofmann.   I’ve loved bill for more than 42 years since he first came to paint our house he was a member of our family my heart is broken. I broke my hip in January and bill was the first to send me a get well message always so thoughtful and caring I will miss him forever
Posted by Lynn Lawson on April 16, 2021
Dear Bill, thank you all of the stories you have shared with me over the years. I hope Heaven has lots of cats for you to play with and sing songs about. I know the other angels will love the music you will play for everyone. And thank you for telling me that I was your mom’s friend. That meant so much to me because I knew you meant everything you ever said. Your heart was true and I will always remember that about you. And I promise to always have a can of cranberry sauce at thanksgiving because I know that was important to you. Fly high, sing loud and please give your mom a hug for me. See you in the next life.
Posted by Wayne Napier on April 15, 2021
What a sweet and kind brother-in-law Bill always was to me. We always had a great time hanging out, especially when we played music together. I have such great love of his songs and respect of his songwriting skills. I'll always remember his music and miss our time together just having fun.
Posted by Don Hofmann on April 15, 2021
I first met Bill around 1980 when he applied for a job at Hofmann’s. He worked with me for a few years. Bill tried to teach me to play guitar, but I was too ham handed to learn very much. Several years later he gave Joel lessons & Joel had a natural talent & picked it up quickly. Bill & Joel made a lot of great music together. I always enjoyed Bill’s company & will miss him greatly. He was one of the good guys.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Erick Smith on June 11, 2021
Knowing that Bill is not gracing the Earth saddens my heart. I have always looked at Bill as the consummate Texas hippy. A mutant that cannot be replicated and in some magnificent way his personality could hold you captive, draw you in, and create a desire to be held within his sphere. My first introduction to Bill was in Rockdale at the Lawson’s home. He emitted that Lawson quirk, a shining personality of humor, sarcasm, and energy that shown of intelligence and independence. To me, Bill appeared as an older brother that you knew was up to fun and risky things. The guitar, nomadic persona, long hair, and laissez faire made quite an impression on my young mind. Things to this day I attempt to emulate. Amazing to think of the influence Bill has had on me.
As I write, I am listening to Rumbullion, which is in my iPhone and gets played regularly. It brings me joy to know that Bill can be conjured and in many ways these songs represent the twist that Bill took life on; or at least, this is my impression. I know to those closer to Bill, his loss is great. I just had the fortunate opportunity to get close to his orbit and that magnetism will be forever felt. See you on the other side!
Posted by Joel Woodward on June 10, 2021
Thanks for teaching us that we can grow up and keep our sense of adventure and our sense of wonder at the world. You inspired people and created joy with your compassion, creativity, and spirit of fun. You were a super cool person.
Posted by Tracie Ferguson on June 9, 2021
I was blessed to have met Bill over 40 years ago. We were in and out of each other's lives throughout those years, but our friendship only got stronger. He was the kindest, most upbeat guy I ever met. One time we took my ragged old car on a two week trip to Washington DC. While touring the Capitol, Bill grabbed my arm and we broke off from the group and freely roamed around the building that was blocked off to tourists. Bill was adventurous like that. Bill loved music more than anything else and I'll miss our late night guitar playing and his regular phone calls checking up on me. I feel sure he is in the heavenly choir now, finally finding the peace that he sought out while here on earth. I love you Billy.
his Life

The Memorial - Riley’s Tavern

Well it’s done. Had some amazing musicians show up for his final goodbye. I think it was just the way he would have wanted it. He had some close, loving friends. 
Sandra Lawson Napier you did great with everything. Wayne, your song was perfect. Don and Becky Hofmann, the Lawson family will always be in your debt—Bill loved and respected you both. Thanks to Joel Hofmann for the great friendship you showed Bill and for the use of Riley’s Tavern for his memorial, one of Bill’s favorites. Thanks to all the former band members of the dozens of bands Bill played in, all the way back to 8th grade (54 years of making music). 
To everyone else, thanks for your support. You are a part of my brother—I look forward to sharing more memories in the future.
Recent stories

Foreword for the book: "Diaries of a Paranormalist"

Shared by Greg Lawson on June 3, 2021
In the Beginning 
Fiskville Cemetery, Austin, Texas, circa 1969
On a bleak day in the fall of 1969, I stood staring at a tombstone. This was no ordinary tombstone—it was the tombstone of a child. My brother Bill, who was seventeen, had put me on his motorcycle and we had driven the back roads in search of graveyards. At five-years-old, it was not something I would have chosen to do, however spending any time with my older brother and on his motorcycle was glorious. His mission in life was to be a good big brother and to scare me. He usually did a decent job. Whether it was taking me around to cemeteries looking for the child’s grave that was closest to my age, sneaking into my room at night to make weird noises, rock climbing or skydiving, he usually succeeded.

On this particular day we had stumbled on Fiskville Cemetery by accident. It is one of Austin, Texas’ oldest Anglo cemeteries with graves dating back to the 1840s. Fiskville was a little community north of Austin’s Colony which was issuing land grants from Mexico starting around 1821. While there are some Mexican and Spanish graves that are much older scattered around the area, these early ones date from the initial white occupation.

Bill and I had walked most of the graveyard marking off many of the children: 13-year old Willie Mangan, stillborn Paul Barfield, infant boy Holt in 1942, the Sterling baby, and the closest to my age, Marvin Pittsford aged 6 years. We stayed at Marvin’s grave for a while and Bill, I am sure, told me some fantastic tale of how Marvin died and how dangerous it was to be a six-year-old. I can’t clearly remember. But I am sure I said a little prayer for Marvin and probably spoke directly to him expressing that I was sorry that he had died.

That was the beginning of my fascination with death. My exploration into the unknown and mysterious realms of religion, metaphysical experience, and the paranormal. Throughout elementary school, Junior high, and high school, I continued seeking out and exploring cemeteries, abandoned buildings, and Indian sacred sites. I passed on the fascination to my friends by dragging them along. We explored ancient silver mines along Walnut Creek, old abandoned pioneer farms and ranches, natural caves where Indians lived and died, and occasionally found solitary family graves on lands where we trespassed. While I thought I was not interested in history, in doing the things I did, that is precisely what I was researching.

I am quite sure these experiences somehow steered me toward my vocation in law enforcement. Not only did I search for the dead as a child’s hobby, my evolution culminated into specializing in suicide mediation, hostage negotiation, and death investigation. Previously, I worked as the sergeant for a lake patrol unit and dive team specializing in aquatic death investigation. It seems I search for the dead as a hobby as well as an occupation. 

I am quite sure, without my brother Bill's influence in my life, it would have been less colorful, less broad, and less of an experience. I don't know whether he knew this or not.