Obituary: Martha Best Yorke Lawson
Martha Best Yorke Lawson passed away peacefully at home on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2018.
She was born on May 5, 1928, in Concord, North Carolina, to Aaron Jones Yorke III and Martha Best Yorke. Mrs. Lawson attended St. Mary’s School in Raleigh and then graduated in 1949 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
In 1950 she married Ferd O. Lawson, Jr. of Sumter, SC. They lived for several years in Concord where Mrs. Lawson was President of the Junior Charity League, taught first grade, started the weekday kindergarten at The First Presbyterian Church, and was head of the Cabarrus County polio drive.
Upon moving to Atlanta in 1960, Mrs. Lawson was active in the Piedmont Arts Festival for several years as acting Vice President. In 1966 the Lawsons moved to Darien, Connecticut, where Mrs. Lawson was a member of the Darien Garden Club, a member organization of the Garden Club of America. For over 25 years Mrs. Lawson was a realtor in Darien, volunteered with the Historical Society, and served on the flower committee of Noroton Presbyterian Church.
In retirement, the Lawsons relocated to Wilmington, NC where Mrs. Lawson served on the Board of the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America as well as the Board of the historic Bellamy Mansion. She served on the flower committee of the First Presbyterian Church and was an active member of Creative Floral Arrangers of America. All of her life, Mrs. Lawson had an interest in floral arrangement and design, studying under many well-known arrangers and attended lectures and classes throughout the United States and Europe. She participated and submitted her designs in countless flower shows, had a floral business for a time while living in Darien, and eventually taught arranging.
Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Lawson moved to Charlotte in 2010. She was a member of the Myers Park Presbyterian Church. Her interests besides flowers and floral design included bridge, golf, reading, and entertaining her friends. Martha Best’s commitment for, and dedication to, her friends best describes her depth of energy, and she was never far removed from planning an occasion to bring friends together.
Mrs. Lawson was predeceased by her husband in 2008, and is survived by her son, Coleman Yorke Lawson of Memphis, TN; her brother, Aaron Jones Yorke IV, of Raleigh, NC; her nieces, Bryan Yorke (David) of Ottawa, CN, and Laura Yorke of New York City; as well as many cousins and relatives.
Prior to a memorial service at Myers Park Presbyterian, Mrs. Lawson will be buried beside her husband at Oakwood Cemetery in Concord.
In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Lawson requested that contributions be made to the The Memorial Garden of First Presbyterian Church of Concord.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 5, at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.