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Joe's Story

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Joseph "Joe" Brian Lawson of Norman was born in Dallas, TX on August 17, 1989 to Tom Lawson and Janne (McLendon) Penn. He was taken far too early at the age of 27 on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Joe was a natural athlete. He was good at any sport he played, but he took special interest in basketball and golf. He played basketball for his alma mater, Norman High, from 2004-2008 where he was a three-year starter and a captain his senior year. Joe was an avid fan of the Oklahoma Sooners' football and basketball teams, and of course he loved the Oklahoma City Thunder. Like any good basketball player his favorite player of all time was Michael Jordan.

Perhaps more than being a gifted athlete, Joe was known for being a brilliant yet caring coach. He could work with a complete novice or an average player and develop them into a really good, solid talent. He served as the head coach of the freshman basketball team and an assistant coach for the varsity team at Norman North from 2012-2016, and he is remembered by his players as being a good friend and a great coach. He was involved in basketball at the community level as well through the Norman Optimist Club where he served as a referee. Joe was an excellent golfer, despite never having taken a lesson. He loved golf so much he chose his apartment based on its proximity to a golf course!

Joe was a fun, energetic guy with a great sense of humor. He would do anything for his family. He developed a special bond with his nephew, Tucker, whom he babysat as often as he could and when he wasn't spending time with Tucker in person he would be FaceTiming him or Snapchatting with him. He loved his own "child", his loyal Boston Terrier Bella, as much as he loved his nephew, and the trio always had the best time together. Joe was a very spiritual person. He received a daily devotion on his phone and he regularly participated in family devotionals. Joe often looked to the Bible for guidance, and everything from his work ethic to how he coached was based on Biblical teachings.

Joe was preceded in death by: paternal grandparents James and Carol Lawson; maternal grandfather Dr. Irwin McLendon; and uncle Don Lawson. He is survived by: parents Tom Lawson and wife Joan and Janne Penn and husband Ralph; grandmother Sonya McLendon; brother TJ Lawson and wife Katie; brother Tyke Lawson and wife Allie; nephew Tucker Lawson; niece Leighton Lawson; aunt and uncle Kathy and Walter Grady and their children; aunt and uncle Melanie and Bob Frost and their children; uncle Kim McLendon and his children; uncle and aunt Mike and Amy Lawson and their children; aunt Alice Lawson; and nephew James Lawson.

Joe's family has entrusted his care to Tribute Memorial Care in Norman (405.292.4787). a celebration of Joe's life will take place at 2:00 pm on Monday, January 16, 2017 at Journey Church in Norman (3801 Journey Parkway).

Memorial Donations can be made in Joe's name for Norman North Boys Basketball or to a scholarship fund that will be set up in Joe's honor. For Information please contact TJ Lawson (TJ.Lawson@nm.com / 405.250.4979) or Tyke Lawson (Tyke.Lawson@agilityusa.com / 918.340.0425).

Joe's family requests that condolences and memories of Joe be shared at www.tribute.care, as they will be included in a book for the family.
Published on January 12, 2017
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