Donald Rey Lawalin, 88, of Rome, GA, formally of Tell City, passed away March 30, 2015 at the home of his daughter in Davidson, NC. He was born September 4, 1926 in Tell City to the late Franklin and Bertha (Metz) Lawalin. The youngest of nine siblings, he is preceded in death by brothers, Harold, Rufus, Louis Christopher (LC) , Fritz, Tag and James Lawalin; sisters, Bernice Boehner and Ruth Weatherholt.
Always an avid hunter, fisherman and horsemen. He loved adventure and travel. His travel took him from France to Ecuador to Costa Rica and across the United States from New York to California .
Whether he was riding a horse up the side of a volcano, riding a zip line across the rain forest in Costa Rica or shooting targets in the back yard with the grandkids, Don enjoyed life to the fullest.
Once he retired from GE Don gave generously of his time to helping others. A member of the masonic lodge for over 25 years Don also served with the Rome Shrine Club since 1985. His desire in serving with the Shrine club was to help raise funding for the Shrine hospitals for crippled and burned children.
Don served the club in a number of capacities .He was secretary/treasurer ,Captain of the motor corps, Auctioneer for the annual Shrine telethon which raised thousands of dollars for the hospitals. He was also on call to transport children to the Shrine hospital in Atlanta for checkups and treatments.
Having a love for horses since childhood Don was never without a horse. He was a member of the Rome Saddle Club and enjoyed trail rides with the club that took him across the United States with his faithful steed Charlie. He also served as the announcer for many of the horse shows that were held frequently at the club.
Recognizing a need in the community and being an entrepreneurial sort, Don assembled a group of other horsemen in the community to form the first mounted posse in Floyd County. The purpose of the posse was to assist the Sheriff’s department in finding people who may have gotten lost in areas of the mountains and forests that would be hard for rescue teams to navigate on foot and impossible with a vehicle.
The posse proved very effective and rewarding to all concerned as they were able to successfully find and rescue several people in life threatening situations throughout his tenure with the posse .Don was grateful be of help.
As an auctioneer and real estate broker Don enjoyed his own real estate /auction company where he auctioned and sold everything from antiques to farm land.
He was a devoted father and grandfather and participated in any activity that involved any of the children. Wherever and whenever it took place, he was there with bells on!
He was deeply loved by all who knew him .
Surviving are his children, Lisa (Jim) McTighe of Davidson, NC and Jeff (Nancy) Lawalin of Gainsville, GA; five grandchildren, Britany Foster Rothstein, Larchmont, NY, Kristen Foster Kirschner, Baton Rouge, LA, Patrick Quinn Lawalin McTighe, Asheville,NC, and Evan and Emmy Lawalin, Gainsville, GA; three great-grandchildren, Rhys Foster Rothstein, Tess Foster Rothstein and Penelope Evan Kirschner.
Funeral services will be at 11:00AM CST Saturday, April 4, 2015 at First Baptist Church. Pastor Dan Hopkins and Rev. Lisa McTighe will officiate. Burial will follow in Lilly Dale Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday at Zoercher-Gillick Funeral Home from 3:00-8:00PM and Saturday from 10:00-11:00AM at First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials contributions may be made in Don’s name to Shriner’s Hospital @ P.O. Box 1544 Rome, GA 30161.