MIDLOTHIAN — Celebrating 100 years of life and love is Midlothian resident and famous hometown pie maker, Dorothy Lawson. Nearly 100 of her closest family members and friends gathered to celebrate her century of life Saturday, Jan. 28 at Midtowne Assisted Living and Memory Care in Midlothian.
Her daughter, Janet Kelly, shared that Lawson was born Jan. 31, 1917 to Edward and Margaret Hett Stinson in Ovilla and was the youngest of eight children.
“My parents attended Ovilla High School, and my dad graduated two years before my mom. She was actually really good friends with his sister growing up, but it was a small town,” Kelly explained. “They dated in high school and got married in 1934, just a few months before she turned 18. They were married 69 years before he passed away in 2004.”
Elvin and his brother owned and operated a local hardware and fencing company, Lawson Brothers, until his retirement in 1979. Kelly shared that they were awesome parents and that “we were very blessed and lucky to have them.”
The Lawson’s resided in Ovilla until 1951, when they would move to Midlothian. They have five children Billy Lawson (deceased), Elvadine Gilbert and Darlene Mageors of Midlothian, Brenda Hafner of Granbury, and Janet Kelly of Grand Prairie, eleven grandchildren (one deceased), fourteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
As told in a biography provided by Kelly, “She was well known for her pies, which she baked for family and friends. If any of her friends or church acquaintances were ill, it was very probable that they would receive one of Dorothy's pies to cheer them. Dorothy also taught Sunday School for over 70 years, first at Calvary Baptist Church, then at First Baptist Church of Midlothian.
"She was also active in the PTA when her children were in Midlothian schools, and served as room mother for many years. When she moved to Crescent Point Independent Living Apartments in Cedar Hill two years after Elvin's death, she became a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church, where she initially was very active in her ladies Sunday School class.”
Kelly noted that, at the celebration, 30 to 35 family members were in attendance with 50 to 60 friends and former and fellow church members.
“We were overwhelmed and had about ninety people show up. We didn’t send out written invitations. We just called a few individuals because her health is not great. In fact, the weekend before she was in bed all weekend and we were a little concerned,” Kelly explained. “We let people know the plans but that we also may have to cancel if she didn’t feel up to it. She bounced back and was extremely alert for the party and enjoyed the attention.”
It wasn’t until Lawson was around 94 years old when her memory began to fade, but she cooked her famous pies up until then.
“She was most famous in Midlothian for her pies. Everyone knew her for them. At Christmastime when we were all still gathering at her house she would have like eight or nine prepared at a time,” Kelly said. “She has dementia now, and her memory is not too great, but she is still very loving. Her caregivers are great, and they just love her.”
Between Kelly and her three sisters, one of them visits Lawson daily and stays through lunch.
“There is never a day that goes by that she doesn’t have company. We will go and stay through lunch until she takes a nap,” Kelly stated.
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL