He was born Oct. 3, 1946, in Orange City, Texas, son of Robert Carl and Helen Ireta Moelling Lawson. He and Elisabeth Josephine Ubellaur were married Jan. 9, 1976, in Germany.
Robert was inducted into the U.S. Army Aug. 3, 1964, at Fort Hood, Texas. Following two tours of duty in Vietnam and 19 years of service to his country, he retired in 1984.
After he retired from service, Robert was a self-employed contractor and plumber for many years until having an accident that forced his retirement in 1996.
Loving survivors include his wife "Lis" of 35 years; five daughters, Bienka Robbins of Cape Girardeau, Natascha (Jimmie) Hudson of Bell City, Darlina Lawson of West Helena, Ark., Angela Smith of Maumelle, Ark., Dorothy Joyce Scallion of Tuckerman, Ark.; two sons, Robert "Bobby" Lawson and Louie Lawson of Tuckerman; 12 grandchildren, Brandon Robbins, Lara Estes, Christopher Lawson, Dylan Porter, Madison Scallion, David Sloan, Coty Hudson, Mitchell Hudson, Brittney Hudson, Lana Hudson, Hayden and Christian Smith; and a great-grandson, Ayden Hammontree.
Also four brothers, Wesley Dale Lawson of Texas, David, Dennis and Terry Lawson of Arkansas; three sisters, Linda Hayes of Arkansas, Janet Ferguson and Carla Lawson of Mississippi.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his first grandchild, Joey Lawson.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at McCombs Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Chris Vaught officiating. Interment will be in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at Bloomfield, with military honors.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Sympathy messages may be sent to the family online at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.