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Edward Alton Lawless

Edward Alton Lawless

Feb 26, 1939 - Jun 9, 2023

Edward Alton Lawless - Obituary


t is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Edward “Ed” Alton Lawless (Shephard) on June 9, 2023 in Rock Hill, SC. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and faithful friend. Ed was born on February 26, 1939, the oldest son of three boys born to the late Beulah Elizabeth Lewis and Clarence Edward Lawless. His younger years were filled with fond memories, that he would often share, of times with his great aunt, Ruth Reid and his grandma, Grace Lawless, where he learned to swim, fish, and crab. In Ed’s words “life made a big turn for the better,” in his later childhood years, when his dad married Virginia Lynard. He gained a sister and “we became a family.” Ed graduated from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD in 1957. He possessed a fascination with weather as well as space. He spent 1959-1961 in the U.S. Navy Fleet Weather Central, Port Lyautey, Morocco where he gained experience in meteorology and communications. This time in the Navy prepared him for a remarkable 37 year career with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He was known throughout the NASA world as “Goddard Voice” and was a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He loved to proudly share stories of his participation in the moon landings, countless scientific endeavors and Shuttle missions. Above all else, Ed treasured his family and friends. Going by his favorite names, Punkie, EL, Dad, and G-Dad, you never met someone more dependable. For close to fifty years he never missed a sporting event that his children or grandchildren participated in. He loved to cheer on the Washington Redskins each week while sharing a bucket full of his signature popcorn recipe. Some of his best times were spent bowling and on the Goddard softball fields playing, coaching, and cutting up with some of his favorite people. The beautiful landscaped yards of the homes he lived in were created and cared for with Ed’s own hands. Hours were spent with him playing catch and raking leaves! Edward is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Sandra Gill Lawless of Tega Cay, SC; his children, Christopher Edward Lawless of Crandall, TX and Audra Angela (Steven Lloyd) Palmer of Fort Mill, SC; his grandchildren, Vann Alton and Samantha Sky Palmer; his siblings, Thomas Joseph (Carolyn) Lawless and Ellen Lawless Hoffmann Wolf; his cousin, Susan “Mickey” Ostdick as well as cherished nieces and nephews. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Edward Lawless, Beulah Lawless Maxwell, Virginia Lawless Lacefield, and Richard F. Shephard and his siblings, Richard William Lawless and Darlene Cross. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Edward A. Lawless to the U.S. Space Walk of Fame, where Ed’s years with NASA have been memorialized in their displays, or to the Hospice and Community Care (PO Box 993, Rock Hill, SC 29731) where Ed spent his final days. Friends are invited to celebrate Ed’s life at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD on Sunday, August 13 at 2 pm. Online condolences may be made using the Memories tab on this page.