Lawton, William Mendenhall
It is with regret, we announce William (Bill) Mendenhall Lawton, of Virginia Beach, passed away Monday, May 23, 2016 surrounded by family.Bill Lawton was born in Tampa, Fla. December 21, 1933 to Dorothy Legters Rawls and William Mendenhall Lawton Sr. Bill graduated from St. Petersburg high school in 1951. He then attended the University of Florida for two years. To ponder what was next in life, Bill joined the Navy, attended OCS, and became a fighter pilot. He said, "The highlight of my life was flying jets." He went on to say "the supreme highlight of my life was marrying Suzanne Forbes Lawton on August 31, 1957 at Galilee Episcopal Church." Bill returned to UF and graduated in 1960 as a member of Lambda Chi Alpha with a degree in Business and Accounting.He owned several successful businesses. The first was ADS in Roanoke, Va., a revolutionary software company in the micro-infancy of computers, which he and his partner built from the ground up. Some years later, he purchased the controlling interest in Forbes Candies, which he ran for 30 years before retiring. Bill and Suzanne enjoyed traveling, outdoor living, scuba diving, and won the annual Husband and Wife Golf Tournament at the Princess Anne Country Club. He loved food, cooking (specifically grilling), and Martini's. Bill was a diehard Florida Gator and was able to take his Grandchildren to "the swamp" for a game. Bill always put his family first. His compassion, patience, and kindness will be remembered by anyone who met him. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; their daughters, Marion Forbes Lawton and Melissa Lawton Craighill; and his grandchildren: William Lawton Craighill, Katherine Stuart Craighill, Charles Forbes Blakeley and his wife, Hillary Berndt Blakeley, and Mercer Forbes Craighill. Bill had the greatest respect for Dr. Agnieszka Peterson and Dr. Thomas Alberico as well as the nurses on the second and fourth floor at Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2016 at Galilee Episcopal Church. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.