Cover photo for Thomas Franklin Lawing's Obituary
Thomas Franklin Lawing Profile Photo
1955 Thomas F. Lawing 2023

Thomas Franklin Lawing

December 25, 1955 — December 31, 2023


Thomas Franklin Lawing, beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2023 in Huntersville, NC. He was born on December 25, 1955 in Charlotte, NC to the late Charles Edward Lawing Sr. and Frances Ratliff Lawing. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Edward Lawing Jr.

Thomas dedicated much of his life to making a positive impact on his community. He worked tirelessly for Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation for an impressive 32 years. His commitment and passion for this role touched the lives of countless individuals. His favorite aspect of the job was seeing the joy and amazement on someone’s face after experiencing something for the first time. His particular passions were in creating safe places for senior citizens to enjoy health and wellness activities, education, and social experiences.

Education was another important aspect of Thomas's life. He attended and graduated from Gaston Day School in Gastonia, NC in 1974. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1978 and went on to obtain his Master's degree in 1981. Thomas's thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and he carried this love of learning with him throughout his entire life. 

Outside of his professional endeavors, Thomas indulged in several hobbies and interests that brought him immense joy. An avid fly fisherman, he found solace and tranquility on the banks of rivers and lakes in the mountains of North Carolina. He had a love for classic television sitcoms, and found particular comfort while watching The Andy Griffith Show and Leave it to Beaver. Thomas also had a creative side and enjoyed capturing the beauty of the world through watercolor paintings. His artistic talent was awe-inspiring.

Travel was another great passion of Thomas's life. He had the opportunity to explore 47 states and an impressive 39 countries throughout his lifetime. These adventures allowed him to immerse himself in various cultures around the world, broadening his perspective and creating cherished memories.

Thomas had an unwavering love for the arts and all genres of music. He particularly enjoyed listening to Jimmy Buffet and the Rolling Stones, finding joy in their melodies. In addition to music, he held a strong interest in baseball, with a particular fondness for the Baltimore Orioles. Thomas closely followed Tennessee football games as well as NASCAR events, where he rooted passionately for Dale Earnhardt.

Thomas leaves behind a loving family who will forever cherish his memory. His wife of 40 years, Carolyn Sharp Lawing, was his rock and constant source of support. Together they navigated the ups and downs of life, creating a beautiful and lasting partnership. Thomas was a proud father to his sons, Andrew Lawing and Graham Lawing. The love he had for them was immeasurable, and he took great pride in witnessing their accomplishments. Additionally, Krystin, daughter-in-law to Thomas and Andrew's wife, brought immense joy into his life.

Thomas Franklin Lawing touched the lives of many through his dedication to public service, his easygoing personality, and his thirst for knowledge. He was a kind and gentle soul, loved by all who knew him. His memory will forever be etched in our hearts as we carry on the legacy he leaves behind. May he rest in eternal peace.

The Lawing family would like to thank our Hospice Care Team members, including Beth, Destiny, Mercedes, and Jonathan, as well as Dr. Joshi and the wonderful care team at Novant Health Cancer Institute. A special thanks to Tajuanna, who was a huge help and confidante and Taylor his favorite PT.

Services to celebrate Thomas's life will take place at Raymer - Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville on Friday, January 5, 2024. The visitation will be held from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM followed by the funeral service at 2:00 PM. Immediately following the funeral service, the interment will be held at Forest Lawn West Cemetery, Charlotte.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Thomas's name may be made to: Novant Health Cancer Institute Buddy Kemp Support Center, 242 S. Colonial Ave, Charlotte, NC 28207 or VIA Health Partners (Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte), 7845 Little Ave, Charlotte, NC 28226.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Franklin Lawing, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 5, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, January 5, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, January 5, 2024

Forest Lawn West Cemetery

4601 Freedom Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208

Following the funeral service.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 876

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree