Local community and business leader leaves behind a lasting legacy

Local News

A local man known for his decades of service in Caddo Parish has passed away.

The family of Joe Kenneth Lawler announces his passing on January 13. He was 88-years-old and surrounded by his loving family.  

Lawler was born July 10, 1930 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Fair Park High School where he was remembered as a pole vaulting champion and track star.

Lawler began his life of service by serving in the United States Navy in 1948 and was immediately appointed as the Recruit Commander. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he was hired by the Shreveport Fire Department and was assigned to the Central Fire Station in downtown Shreveport. After two years he was promoted to driver of the largest truck on the department-a 100′ ladder truck. In 1965 he was appointed by Chief Dallas Greene to help organize the Louisiana State University Fire College in Baton Rouge. He retired from the Shreveport Fire Department as a captain after serving 21 years.

He was then elected to three terms on the Caddo Parish Police Jury where he served as president one year and served as chairman of the Louisiana Police Jury Association’s Criminal Justice Committee. He will long be remembered as one of the most effective Police Jury members in the history of Caddo Parish. He accomplished many major improvements to his district, including the construction of the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park, the Richard Fleming Park & Boat Launch, the North Shreveport Industrial Park, and was instrumental in creating the first fire district in Caddo Parish, Caddo Parish Fire District No. 1. He also pushed for the change of the corrections facilities and responsibilities from the Police Jury to the Sheriff’s Office. After serving on the Police Jury, he was appointed by the Caddo Parish Commission as a commissioner on the Caddo Parish 911 Communications District where he served for 17 years.

He was a businessman and president of Joe Lawler Construction Co., Inc., a construction company and land development company. In 1983, he was awarded the “Most Outstanding Christian Businessman” award by the Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation.

He was an active member of the Blanchard United Methodist Church since 1950, which is now the NorthPoint United Methodist Church, and served on the administrative boards for many years. He was also active in the American Legion and served as first vice commander for a year.
He was most proud of his children, who all were successful business owners. He taught them the value of being tithing members of their churches, and he always encouraged them to be productive citizens.

The funeral will be held at the NorthPoint United Methodist Church on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., with Rev. Bill Foster officiating, followed by graveside services at the old Blanchard Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

(obituary information contributed by Joe Lawler’s son, Danny) 

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