Bill Lawler, West Wyoming, PA recently passed away after a brief illness. Mr. Lawler, born in 1947, was the son of the late James Wand Mary Teresa Lawler, Pittston, PA. A graduate of Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton, Mr. Lawler was a retired educator, having taught school in Kingwood Township Elementary School, Frenchtown, NJ, St. Ann's Academy, Wilkes-Barre, PA and in the Pittston Area School District, where he retired after a successful 33-year career.
Bill was known locally for his golfing ability, having captured a great many tournaments, many of which he shared with exceptional partners in team events. Bill was most proud of his record total of 13 Fox Hill Country Club Men's Club Championships. A member of that wonderful club since 1963, Bill could be found there almost every day, weather permitting, thanks to his lovely and understanding wife, Gloria. He was blessed to have acquired and maintained many lifetime friendships thanks to the game he loved so much.
Bill's game traveled well, too, having found success in state and local amateur events hosted by the USGA, Golf Association of Philadelphia and the Anthracite Golf Association. Bill proudly served Northeastern Pennsylvania golf as President of the AGA for many years and was honored by that organization when its Junior Golf program was named, “the Lawler Junior Tour," for Bill's efforts organizing and running the events. He was ably aided by Don Cragle, Ralph Toole and the Coleman brothers, Len and Joe in promoting junior golf.
Lawler's best golfing year was 2006 when he qualified for and competed in the USGA Senior Amateur in Newburgh, Indiana. He qualified for the Match Play Division, tied for 20th prior to that stage of competition. That accomplishment also pre-qualified him for the 2007-2008 British Senior Amateur tournaments, but Bill did not make the trips. That same year he finished second in the Pennsylvania State Senior Amateur at Waynesborough Country Club and also won the Fox Hill CC Men's Club Championship and Senior Club Championship, as well! Additionally, Bill earned Senior Player of the Year honors in both the Anthracite Golf Association and the Golf Association of Philadelphia that same year.
Lawler was said to have been a "Renaissance" man by many who knew him. A gifted musician, Bill played piano, guitar and Bluegrass banjo and also composed music for· each of those instruments.
He always joked that he had written around 40 songs, but they were in "various stages of completion." Lawler began a second career as a writer in 2006 with the release of his self-published "Rank Amateur, A Selection of Musings and Vague Recollections of a Passionate Golfer." He followed that effort with a sequel, "Rank Amateur II, The Saga Continues." Both of those works were semi biographical in nature, cataloging many of Lawler's experiences playing golf up and down the east coast of the United States against some of the finest amateurs in the country.
Several years later, Lawler tried his hand at novels. He considered himself a "Sherlockian", one of the fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character and completed two novels. MX Publishing of London printed these two mysteries, both pastiches of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes characters. "Mystery at St Andrews", a golf mystery, was followed up several years later with "Treachery in Torquay", another Holmes-Watson tale, both having met with some modest success locally and abroad. He recently completed a book about Dunmore legendary Yankee fan, Jim Brozzetti, entitled, "Jim Brozzetti, Mr. 917", which captures the many tales and famous people Brozzetti met during his famous 917 straight Yankee home-game streak which took over 11 years!
Bill continued to write throughout the rest of his life, referring to his writing as his "winter
hobby“ and enjoyed spending time at his computer and piano when the weather made golf less enjoyable.
Bill's family would like to thank Dr. Bill Boyle, Dr. Roy Gernhardt and Dr. Norman Saidman for their expert care and concern along with their nursing staffs. The family also wants to recognize the efforts of Dr. Sanjay Reddy and Dr. Jennifer Higa and the entire staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center for the care he received there.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Gloria; brother, Joe Lawler and wife Libby, Fairfax, Virginia; sisters-in-law, Judi Hans and husband Don, Pottstown and Nany Kutzer and husband James, Cranford, NJ; brother-in-law, George Gibblets and wife Beth, Leland, NC; nephews, Joseph Lawler and wife Lora and their two lovely daughters, Brenna Tess and Gracie Ellen, Arlington, VA; Michael Lawler and wife Ainsley and their lovely daughter, Ellie, Falls Church, VA; Drew Hans and his wife Jessica, Pottstown; Cameron and Adam Kutzer, Cranford NJ; Mike Gibblets, Brunswick, GA; Matthew Gibblets, Leland, NC; and niece, Ashley Hans, Pottstown.
The family will receive friends and relatives Monday, August 9, 2021 from 6pm to 9pm in Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC, 251 William Street, Pittston. A Memorial mass will be celebrated Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 10am in Saint Monica Parish, 363 W. 8th Street, West Wyoming with the Reverend Peter Tomczak presiding. Those attending are asked to go directly to the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint Monica Parish at the address above or to the Anthracite Golf Scholarship Fund (by making a check payable to the Scranton Area Foundation, 615 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510. Please indicate Lawler – Anthracite Scholarship Fund in memo of check.)