Cleo Elizabeth Hays Lawson, 90, went home to be with her Lord Sunday, morning March 20, 2011, at the Arkansas Hospice at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hot Springs.
“Mimi”, as she was lovingly named by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was born in Gravel Hill in White County on Dec. 29, 1920. She was the third child of Edward and Flossie Hays. Cleo and her husband Vestil were married Sept. 17, 1938.
Cleo and Vestil moved to Malvern in December 1952, from Searcy, and shortly thereafter joined Second Baptist Church where both remained very active until their deaths. Cleo earned her GED and had long years of employment at the International Shoe Company, Malvern School District, and First Baptist Children’s’ Center. She enjoyed her church, spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, walking, traveling, and cooking for her family, and loved going to yard sales.
Cleo was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Vestil D. Lawson on Nov. 25, 1991. Siblings preceding her in death were her sisters, Lillian Moss, Geneva Jordan, brothers, Julian, Redus, Eugene and Dayton Hays.
Cleo is survived by son Conrad D. Lawson of Houston, Texas; daughter, Janice Lawson Keith and husband Bill of Malvern; seven grandchildren, Kirk Lawson of Park Forest, Ill., LeAnn Lawson Turner and husband Sam of Fayetteville, Kellye Keith Albey and husband Mark of Benton, Chris Lawson, of Fayetteville, Karen Keith Robinson and husband Mark of Benton, Kent Keith and wife Angie of Alexander, Eric Arnold of Houston, Texas; 11 great-grandchildren, Lauren, Lawson and Lane Ross Albey, all of Benton, Tarahn, Blaine and Slaide Turner, all of Fayetteville, Reid, Rhett and Rose Robinson, all of Benton and Kate and Harper Keith, both of Alexander; four sisters, Dorothy Nier and husband Coolidge, Lois Morris and husband Ed, Shirley King and husband Jimmy and Reta Lewis and husband Jimmy, all of Searcy.
Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Second Baptist Church 210 W. Mill in Malvern with a time of visitation at 1:15 p.m. prior to the funeral service. The Revs. Don Price and Joey McDermott will be officiating. Burial will follow in Rockport Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Charles Keeney, Jim Ross, Clarence Woosley, Jim Richardson, David Selph, Curtis Gober and Cecil Burns.
Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Sam Turner, Dr. Mark Albey, Kirk and Chris Lawson, Kent Keith, Lawson Albey and Eric Arnold.
Memorials may be made to Second Baptist Church in Malvern.
Arrangements by Regency Funeral Home in Malvern.
Online guest book: regencyfuneralhome.com.