In the 90’s, when we were living in Georgia, my little family enjoyed constant contact with Peter, Rita, and Catherine Lawler. The Lawlers met in graduate school at UVA, where they studied political science and their daughter was between our daughters in age. We met at the Georgia Political Science Convention in Savannah and just clicked!
Peter gave talks for me at Kennesaw State University, mentored me as a professor and wrote a fabulous letter recommending me for tenure. As an ISI professor (Intercollegiate Studies Association), he mentored our daughter and wrote letters for her as well, and he did not leave out Rob – for a while they met weekly to discuss Rob’s writing. We were very fortunate to have him for a friend.
Peter lectured across the nation, wrote numerous blogs, articles, and 15 books. He was appointed by George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Bio-Ethics and was named the George Washington Distinguished Professor of the American Founding, The Society of the Cincinnati, among a host of other worthy activities and well-deserved honors.
Of the four of us adults, Peter was the youngest – only 65 when he passed away last Tuesday. We attended the funeral yesterday and I have never been to a more crowded Mass, except on Easter or Christmas, definitely the most crowded funeral Mass. It was at St. Mary’s in Rome (not THAT Rome), in Georgia. I think every lawyer he taught as undergraduates at Berry College was there and they were weeping! He was a much loved Professor and he never let his work come between him and a friend or a student. His famously messy desk testifies to his people over process approach to life. I hope one of his better students will take on the task of archiving the contents of his desk with the rest of his papers.
My husband has a wonderful reflection about Peter at AmGreatness.com (https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/24/peter-augustine-lawler-memoriam/).
The death was such a surprise and the funeral was held so quickly, that his many friends in places remote, were unable to make it but I did see: Professors Carl Scott and Ralph Hancock from Unesstah; Professors Dan Mahoney and Marc Guerra from Assumption College (where they are doing fabulous work – note to Christian students interested in studying politics), Glenn Arbery, President of Wyoming Catholic, and Professor John Eastby from Hampton-Sydney College (who was so kind to me when I interviewed there).
We were all so sad and continue to be sad about the loss of so dear a man, so great a teacher, and so interesting a thinker.