Passing: Don and Pat Lawson


On April 30, 1958 was the beginning of a marriage that lasted 56 years for Don and Pat Lawson.

On Feb. 21, 2000 Patricia (Pat) Helen Askins Lawson passed away and 14 years later to the day on. Feb. 21, 2014 Donald (Don) Walter Lawson left us to be in God’s hands.

It is always a sad time to lose someone you loved as family or friend but both Don and Pat were good and honest hard working, God loving individuals. That supported trappers and the trade of trapping until their death.

Thanks to MFTI historian Roger Ringgold for the following information:

Don was President of MFTI 1976-77

Wrote and sent out MFTI Newsletters from June 1963 – Aug. 1973

Secretary 1963-1973, 1978 / Education Committee 1964-65

Director 1973-75, 1977

Life member NRA

Owner of Sleepy Creek Trap Manufacturing Inc.

My father (Pete) and I met Don & Pat 47 years ago when we joined the Maryland Fur Trappers Inc. (MFTI). Don was a charter member and Secretary at the time, and little did we know how close we would become to Lawson’s and the Askins families. They were the back bone of MFTI at that time. Their leadership is why MFTI is as strong as it is today. As a matter of fact Pats brother Pete Askins is one of my family’s closest friends today.

Don and Pat would host a lot of the MFTI board meetings, with Pat serving food and drinks for everyone and Pats mother known to most of us as Granny Askins, along with I believe the rest of the Askins family would fix and serve the food for the MFTI yearly convention. We never forgot the home made donuts they would make and serve. Everyone that attended always had great time of fellowship.

You see Don and Pat was a team. Two people that took great care of their family, but also something that stood out to me was their willingness to help others. Don and Pat donated countless hours to the trappers and they both passed away still donating to what they believed in. If you were to ask them a question they would always share their knowledge to help you. They would go the extra mile to get things done.

Don had a lot of attributes that most people never knew. A very ambitious man and in his heart he was a true fur trapper. He loved a challenge and trapping was probably something that satisfied him the most. I remember the stories Don would tell about setting traps for fox along the interstate going into Washington DC, and on his way to work. Then he would check them the next morning going back to work. He had these special locations that he would catch a lot of fox and raccoon’s just out of sight of the traffic.

Don and his brother-n-law Pete Askins spent many years trapping together, catching enough fur to help support their families each year. Dad and I would always look forward to seeing Don and Pete on the river. As our water lines sometimes would be close together. We enjoyed aggravating each other about who could or could not catch animals.

Don was not only a very successful business man and a trapper; he also could design the traps that it took to catch the animal. And then design the tooling it took to build that trap.

Don was also known for his ability’s as a gunsmith. He was a very intelligent man with a lot of common sense.

Thinking back to the day Don retired and Pat and him bought a place in Berkley Springs WVA to get away from the Urbana, Maryland sprawl. We figured it would be years until we seen them again. They told us they had bought property so far back in the hills, they would have to pipe sun shine in. But to everyone’s surprise, Pat and Don was not done with life yet. Their ambitions could not be stopped. They had made a decision to build a trap manufacturing plant and call it Sleepy Creek Trap Mfg. Inc. back in those hills. Which today, is shipping traps all over the world? The plant is now being run by Don and Pats daughter Nancy and the family.

I remember Pat as a busy lady, always running from the house to the shop taking care of the house and the trap orders.

I can only say that Don and Pat made a difference in our family’s life. For good friends are hard to come by. It is very easy for people to say they are your friend but true friends is someone that will be there when you need them and that is who Don and Pat Lawson were true friends.

The family would like to ask if anyone would want to make donations in respect to the Lawson’s, that they be sent to;

Fur Takers of America

Attn: Carol Krumwiede

408 S. Oak, Box 3 Buckley, IL 60918


National Trappers Association

Attn: Aimee Carlisle

2815 Washington Ave. Bedford, IN 47421


— Submitted by Ron Leggett


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