Cover photo for James Lawson Jr.'s Obituary
James Lawson Jr. Profile Photo

James Lawson Jr.

July 20, 1957 — February 11, 2024

Born July 20, 1957, James Curtis Lawson, Jr. grew up in Clifton, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and stayed in touch with his childhood friends until he departed this world on February 11, 2024, at age 66. Immensely knowledgeable and talented, he got the nickname Golden Warrior from his family when the kids were little.

Survived by wife Donna (nee Moxness) of 32 years, children Matt and Erin (Mark Ebel), sister Sonja (Earl) Corell, nephews Stephen (Kate) Lawson and Jeremy (Jamie) Mack, nieces Sarah (Keith Lindsay) Casello, Katie Mack, and Rachel Bailey, and several great-nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by mother and father Bessie and James Curtis Lawson, Sr., and sister Sharlene Mack.

Jim worked for the City of Cincinnati for 30 years in different jobs, ending up as a Zoning Plan Examiner when he retired in 2006. At that time, he taught guitar at Leaves Of Learning, a school for homeschoolers, for a few years. A talented rehabber, he bought an old church in 2011, which he rehabbed top to bottom, turning it into a residence and music studio.

He was a multi-talented musician and recording engineer, with guitar being his main instrument. In his words, his guitar was a part of him.

He met Donna in a band in 1990. Donna and bass player Roger Holliday were looking for a guitar player for a new group they were starting. The first one they called could not be reached because his phone had been disconnected. Then they decided to call Jim Lawson. As Jim liked to say, he was home, and his phone worked. The group ended up having seven members, including a horn section. Jim and Donna became kind of the mom and dad of the group, and decided to get married and have their own children.

Music took a back seat to raising a family and working, but Jim and Donna did return to music with The Moxie Band in the early 2000s. Life got in the way of doing much with music, but they did keep a hand in it as much as possible, releasing the album Eminent Domain in 2014. Jim also played with many other bands along the way, and recorded many musicians in his studio.

In 2018 Jim experienced multiple serious health issues. He had a brain bleed due to an arteriovenous malformation on one side of his brain, and during diagnosis suffered a major stroke on the other side of his brain, leaving him unable to walk or talk. While in the hospital he developed a near-fatal case of c.diff, and also status epilepticus. He miraculously survived all this, and fought his way back to almost 100%. Then in 2022 he was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, which he fought valiantly and without complaint until the end.

He will be greatly missed by many friends and family, many of whom say that he changed their lives by helping, teaching, and encouraging them to play music.

All are invited to gather and Celebrate The Music, Memories, and Legacy of Jim Lawson at the Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220 on April 14, beginning at 4pm.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Lawson Jr., please visit our flower store.

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All are invited to gather and Celebrate The Music, Memories, and Legacy of Jim Lawson at the Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220 on April 14, beginning at 4pm

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