Ralph B. McLawhon

Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009

Former Sitka resident Ralph B. McLawhon died Dec. 1, 2009, in Aiken, S.C. after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 73.

He came to Aiken in 2007 and formerly resided in Parrish, Fla., and Tillamook, Ore.

Born Sept. 9, 1936, in Panama City, Fla., to the late George B. McLawhon and Dorothy Williams McLawhon Cucchiari, he moved to Port St. Joe, Fla., when he was 2 years old.

When he was 13, his mother and stepfather moved the family to Elephant Point, where she taught in an Alaskan Native Services school. He graduated from Sitka High School.

He was a staff sergeant in the Washington National Guard and the U.S. Army in Germany. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in mathematics and completed a year of graduate work. He was a graduate of the Systems Research Institute in New York City. He worked for 30 years in computers, mostly in aerospace and the finance industry and specialized in database/data communications systems.

He was past president of the Portland, Ore., chapter of the Data Processing Management Association. He enjoyed travel, scuba diving, underwater photography and whitewater rafting. He was a member of the River Wilderness Golf and Country Club in Parrish, Fla., and the Reserve Club at Woodside in Aiken, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Carol Dearing McLawhon; stepmother, Audra McLawhon, of Port St. Joe; daughters, Pamela McLawhon, of Glen Ridge, N.J., Maria Rogers, of Piano, Texas, and Bonnie McLawhon, of Los Angeles; a sister, Mary Becker, of Douglas; half-sister, Edith McLawhon, of Port St. Joe; half-brothers, George McLawhon, of Mexico Beach, Fla., Michael McLawhon, of Tellico Plains, Tenn., and Donald McLawhon, of Panama City; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Dec. 5 at George Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Aiken. Interment followed at the Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society, 128 Stonemark Lane, Columbia, SC 29210. Expressions of sympathy for the McLawhon family may be left through www.georgefuneralhomes.com.

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