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Curtis Ray Dame Lawson
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Birth: Dec. 22, 1932
Death: Dec. 13, 1952
Montgomery County
Missouri, USA

Although Curtis died in Missouri, his body was taken back to Tallahatchie Co., Mississippi, the community where he grew up, to be buried and finally reunited, next to his mother who had died giving birth to him just 20 years earlier.

After the death of his mother, new-born Curtis was given to his grandmother's sister, Bessie Gertrude Sheley Dame and her husband, Thomas Dame, to rear as their own child. In the 1930 census the Dame family listed him as 'Kirth Dame', but there is no doubt among family members that this really referred to Curtis Lawson, as the age of 'Kirth' was the same as Curtis.

Because he was reared as their own from birth, the Dame family name was immortalized on his headstone as a middle name, but extensive search of the county records could find no record that they legally adopted him. Such legal expenses probably would have been an extravagance.

He had been enrolled in school under their family name as Curtis Dame, and used it as his own, until he was a teenager. Curtis was the star of his h/s football team in Oakland, Mississippi. At about 6'4", he was thought to have had great prospects to play college football, but these dreams were dashed by his very small high school having no coach & no team in his junior yr., and thus, probably not even being visited by college football scouts in his senior.

On Dec 28, 1949, Curtis married his high school sweetheart, Hope Havens in Charleston, Mississippi. They soon left Mississippi to follow his older brother, Luther Warren 'Sonny' Lawson, to St Louis where their uncles were working in the family flooring business, Lawson Brothers. Curtis's father had worked in the family business, but had died in 1944, when Curtis was still in elementary school.

Curtis and Hope did not have any children before his death. On their marriage records, the bride is named Hope Havens, but she must have used the name 'Opal', perhaps her middle name. On the death certificate for Curtis, his wife's name was first written as 'Opal', which was later crossed out and changed to 'Hope'. It is likely that her birth name was Hope, but the death certificate 'informant', M. W. Lawson, (most likely his uncle, Marvin Wilson Lawson) knew Curtis's wife by the name 'Opal', possibly her middle name.

Another Opal Havens, (1889-1924) who would have been 43 yrs older than Curtis, lived in Tallahatchie, Mississippi, where Curtis and Hope grew up. The older Opal Havens is buried in the same cemetery as Curtis, and is a strong possibility to have been related Hope, his widow, possibly her grandmother or her aunt.

Only a week before his 20th birthday Curtis died in a tragic highway wreck, which also critically injured his only brother. They were returning from an out-of-town hardwood flooring installation, for the family business, Lawson Bros Flooring.

Curtis had 2 sisters and one brother:
Rose Willeen Lawson (Mrs Phillip) Hollingsworth
Luther Warren 'Sonny' Lawson
and another sister not listed because she is still living, as of 2014.
Family links: 
  Luther Curtis Lawson (1911 - 1944)
  Wilbur B. Epps Lawson (1910 - 1932)
  Rose Willeen Lawson Hollingsworth (1928 - 2006)*
  Luther Warren Lawson (1929 - 1976)*
  Curtis Ray Dame Lawson (1932 - 1952)
*Calculated relationship
Bethel Cemetery
Tallahatchie County
Mississippi, USA
Maintained by: Gramma
Originally Created by: Forever loved: Beatrice
Record added: Feb 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33846464
Curtis Ray Dame Lawson
Added by: Linda W
Curtis Ray Dame Lawson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Donald Gordon Dalrymple
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Happy Valentine's Day, Curtis. God bless.
 Added: Feb. 14, 2009

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